Even though threats and calls for secession, and in some instances declaration of independence by some movements including political parties, tribes and other groups within several states in the United States go largely ignored or under reported by the American media, the threats posed by secessionists in the country must not be undermined, as the very foundation of the United States may be shaken, and eventually made to crumble.
But perhaps what is most interesting – so to say- is the fact that whenever such movements come up from various groups and communities within the country, officials within the American administration more often than not refer to those advocating for a split (from the Union that created the United States) as lunatics, losers, failures, or anti-Americans.
Alaska is one of such states where secessionist tendencies are particularly strong, ignited on the one hand by sentiments of marginalization, and unfair policies by the American administration, and on the other hand by the fact that the Alaskans were not those who voted to join the United States. Alaska was purchased from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million ($113 million in today’s dollars) at about two cents per acre ($4.74/km²). The land went through several administrative changes before becoming an organized territory on May 11, 1912, and the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.
But the leaders of the Alaskan Independence Party (AIP) which considers it to be the third largest party in the United States contend that the people of Alaska were denied a vote for secession in the past. A statement on the party’ website states that: “voting was corrupt and residents were not given the proper choice between statehood, commonwealth status, or complete separation – something they say has been granted to other U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico.”
The Chairman of the party Lynette Clark has stated that the rights of Alaskans, as the residents of a Non-Self Governing Territory, were protected by many UN General Assembly Resolutions. She pointing out that the U.S Government was under obligation to assure that “the right of people and nations to Self-Determination is exercised, ” but that the people of Alaska were never given a chance to exercise their right to cast the most important vote in their life as Native Alaskans were not allowed to vote because most of them could not read or write in English. Clark further stated that, while the rest of Alaskan population was trying to make a sense of what was happening to them, the U.S. Government encouraged the 41,000 U.S. Military Personnel and 36,000 of age their dependents “to help Alaskans” and vote “yes” on statehood on August 26, 1958.
With 40,000 votes for the statehood and 8,000 votes against, Clark thinks it is not difficult to see how this “voting was corrupt”. She explains that Alaska was no different from other colonies, as Algerians did not see themselves as a part of France, or as Libyans did not see themselves as a part of Italy, most Alaskans did not see themselves as a part of U.S.A.
Within the frames of International Law and established political practices of that time, Clark said that it would be natural for Alaskans to vote for Independence and not remain “a colonial warehouse of natural resources to fuel the factories of the United States.”
The Alaska Independent Party (sometimes referred to as a Movement) believes it has a good case to pursue independence or a Self-Governing status for Alaska. The movement has often cited the UN General Assembly Resolution 637, of 16th December, 1952, (VII) which states:
Considering the Right of people’s for self- Determination and a basic Human Right makes it clear: “3. The States Members of the United Nations responsible for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories shall take the practical steps, pending the realization of the right of self-determination and in preparation thereof, to ensure the direct participation of the indigenous populations in the legislative and executive organs of government of those territories, and to prepare them for complete self-government or independence”.
The leaders of the Movement insist that the U.S. Government completely neglected its responsibilities to the people of Alaska, which UN considered to be a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and did nothing to inform Alaskans about their Rights under that resolution. By allowing the U.S. Military Personnel and their dependents of age to vote on Alaska statehood on August 26, 1958, the U.S. Government forced its will on Alaskans. The Alaska Independent Party officials together with followers of the movement believe that all these actions of the U.S. Government make the “statehood vote” of 1958 illegal and Alaska should retain the status of Non-Self-Governing Territory.
With this in mind, Alaskans who queue with the movement allude to the United States as a theft of natural resources in Alaska.
The AIP founder Mr. Joseph E. Vogler, perhaps described the situation the best: “An Alaskan economy (except for oil and government employment, financed by oil royalties and taxes) is practically non-existent. We are not allowed to process our oil before exporting it to the United States, and as mentioned before, they have the audacity to openly state that, ‘the production of Alaska’s resources will create a great many jobs in other states, where they will be taken for manufacture and distribution.’ Alaska is nothing more than a colonial warehouse of natural resources to fuel the factories of the United States”.
The colonized territories previously claimed by UN Signatory Nations and lately being supervised by UN Member-State, had been given a legal status as Trusts or as Non–Self-Governing Territories. Since native population did not have the necessary political and administrative institutions in place to govern the land, the colonizing powers or trusties had to provide the services to local population. In due time, as the local population progresses itself into a functional society, demonstrating ability of self-governance, the Trusties were obligated to assure the people would decide on their own form of government. This situation equally happened to several places in the world. In Africa for example, the English Speaking part of Cameroon (West Cameroon) was a under UN Trusteeship with Britain as the facilitating colonial power. Soon, Britain handed over self-governance to the people, and for years, West Cameroon was a highly successful functioning country before later voting in a Referendum to join the French Speaking part of Cameroon, and became the Federal Republic of Cameroon, then the United Republic of Cameroon, and now, the Republic of Cameroon.
In a similar light, according to the AIP, United Nation rules mandate that the U.S. Government should facilitate the return of sovereignty to Alaska. The United States’ constitution states that secession is treasonous. But those who call for the sovereignty of Alaska insist on three of the following options which in either case, will lead to independence.
– Remain a Territory.
– Become a separate and Independent Nation.
– Accept Commonwealth status.
– Become a State
The AIP strongly hold that the U.S. Government did not act in good faith and thus steered the whole process in one direction only – to retain Alaska as a part of the Union.
Other states are making their intensions known for split from the union that created the United States of America. Lakota, also called Lakotah has already declared itself independent from the United States pending constitutional and lawful follow-ups.
Lakota according to advocates for independence, includes territories covering thousands of square miles in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. The proposed borders are those of the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the United States government and the Lakota.
On December 17, 2007, a group of Native Americans called the Lakota Freedom Delegation traveled to Washington, D.C., and delivered a statement asserting the independence of the Lakota from the United States. The group argues that the recent declaration of independence is not secession from the USA, but rather a reassertion of sovereignty. Their leader is Russell Means, one of the prominent members of the American Indian Movement in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Secessionist movements are also queuing up in Vermont State, calling for self-government. According to a pres release issued on rense.com, by Greg Symanski, “The members of a peaceful freedom-fighting group want no part of neo-cons running the imperialistic U.S. government. Plan to secede from the U.S. gaining momentum in the fiercely independent Green Mountain state.”
The Release also states that “The neo-con band of criminals running Washington, trampling on civil rights at home and invading countries at will overseas, has led a large group of strong-minded Vermont freedom-fighters with no choice but to secede from the United States.
Organizers of a secession convention in Montpelier declared:
“Be it resolved that the state of Vermont peacefully and democratically free itself from the United States of America and return to its natural status as an independent republic as it was between January 15, 1777 and March 4, 1791.”
But even though such movements are taking place in American states, threatening the very existence of the American Empire, the media in this country will ignore, omit, or at best distort the coverage of such issues. People who advocate for a split from the United States’ “Union” are more often than not referred to as lunatics, daydreamers, or as been mischievous. On the contrary, if these scenes were in Africa, Asia, and Latin American, Eastern Europe, or other “less privilege” regions of the world, the U.S. media will make the occurrences become headline news – while at the same time attributing the existence of such movements to bad governance, poor democracy, and a failure in administration. This puts even the U.S. citizens into a pitiful situation as they are given a total black-out of the realities of the American society – their society. Abroad, that is outside America, it is as if the country is perfect, and has been mistakenly sought after as a role model for good governance, human rights, and freedom.
The situation in the U.S. leaves one with one question – Will America stand the test of secessionists within States?
Predicting the fall of the American Empire may make many people laugh today, but that laughter may just be as a result of the fact that they too have black-outs on issues going on in the American society. If this empire must survive – to the displeasure of many though- the American government should think and think again its internal and foreign policies. It may just be time to send a note: that America should concentrate in fixing its homeland and allow other countries take care of their domestic affairs.
http://www.rense.com/general68/secede.htm is a link to the Resolution passed by the movement in Vermont for secession from the United States.