Citizens of Vermont Hold Meeting on Secession
“...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it...”
-Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence
On October 28 at the Vermont House chambers, in the states capital of Montpellier, over one hundred Vermonters attended The Second Vermont Republic’s secession convention. The first such state wide convention on secession since North Carolina voted to secede from the Union on May 20 1861. The theme to the convention was “Vermont Independence: An Impossible Dream or a Vision of the Future?” Vermont’s ties to secession go back to the fourteen years between 1777 and 1791 that it was an independent republic.
The key note speaker was James Howard Kunstler, author of the book about Peak Oil The Long Emergency. Other speakers included Professor Frank Bryan, UVM; Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale, J. Kevin Graffagnino, Executive Director, Vermont Historical Society; Professor Eric Davis, Middlebury College; Shay Totten, editor, Vermont Guardian; Antoine Robitaille, journalist Le Devoir (Quebec City); G. Roderick Lawrence, CEO, Stevenson Kellogg (Canada); (Rev.) Ben T. Matchstick.
General Ethan Allen also attended the convention (via actor Jim Houge, a local Vermont actor). General Allen led the Green Mountain Boys to victory against the British at Fort Ticonderoga in 1775 with out firing a single shot. Once given the opportunity to speak General Allen wasted no time in letting everyone know what a real revolution can be like and imparted some wisdom upon those in attendance wishing to secede. ''Let history record that we, still carrying on without firing a shot, brought to their knees all those who, in the name of security made enemies, in the name of patriotism wrought treason and tyranny, in the name of peace made war, and in the name of liberty would turn us into slaves.“
Thomas Naylor a citizen, not a speaker, shared his thoughts that evening, “Vermont is smaller, more rural, more democratic, less violent, less commercial, more egalitarian, and more independent than most states... It offers itself as a kinder, gentler metaphor for a nation obsessed with money, power, size, speed, greed, and fear of terrorism.” Naylor is a former Duke University economics professor who retired to Vermont and has written a book called ''The Vermont Manifesto — The Second Vermont Republic“
Earlier this year the secession group The Second Vermont Republic issued a declaration known as the Middlebury Institute Letter which may be viewed at http://www.vermontrepublic.org The following is a partial exert.
”Moreover, the accumulating signs point to a series of major crises that will seriously disrupt and may even destroy the American system in the near future. These include economic disruptions in the wake of global “peak oil” production before 2010, deterioration of the power of the dollar through mounting and uncontrollable national debt and trade imbalances, continued degradation of vital ecosystems on which the nation depends, climate change and severe weather causing widespread devastation of coastal areas, extended use of military force worldwide leading to increased terrorism and the reinstitution of the draft, [and] judicial takeovers at the Federal level by rightwing ideologues capable of altering fundamental legal rights... Those who want to absent and cushion themselves from suchlike devastations would reasonably want to explore ways of removing their communities and regions from dangerous national political and economic mechanisms that are incapable of reform."
To many the thought of secession might not seem appropriate. Under the current situation of heavily centralized control in the hands of an out of touch bureaucratic government that has outsourced their duties of providing clean drinking water, adequate energy policy, healthcare, correctional facilities, and even the military it is not a surprise that some do find it appropriate. Secession can come in many forms. A unified secession of independent States from a centralized authority happened in this country not too long ago. — Moksha Mokma