Friday, January 22, 2016

The other side of the coin. The State of Jefferson movement

This report bridges two important events in the modern history of the US periphery. One that got most attention was the armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon. Another, that largely passed unnoticed, was a gathering of the State of Jefferson movement in Sacramento. The State of Jefferson proved to be the most tenacious of the last wave of neo secessionist movements that peaked about two years ago. Unlike others, the movement has kept growing and radicalizing.

From our perspective, the most intriguing part here is first signs of The State of Jefferson spilling over from northern California into southern Oregon.

By CASEY MICHEL (Polico) {


Moreover, much like the original Jefferson swell, the insurrectionists at Malheur have tapped into smoldering grievance, exploiting the desiccated economics of southern Oregon to spin a push into insurgency.

As one rancher declaimed at a recent meeting in Burns, Ammon Bundy “has given Harney County our biggest and best platform ever to get our message out.”

The region “has had severe economic problems,” Laufer said, drowning under “grotesque unemployment.” As such, those protesting in the region have opted for an extreme measure—either via a sanctuary standoff or separate statehood.

But while the militia continues piling its arms—and gathering support from certain mainstream circles—the hopes for a Jefferson reborn don’t exist primarily in Oregon. For that, you have to travel south.


A few days ago, hundreds of Californians gathered at the state Capitol to demand discussion on a new Jefferson. Following over two years of organizing within the pro-Jefferson camp, some 21 counties have delivered declarations for the introduction of a “State of Jefferson” bill in the California Legislature, bundled through either signature-gathering campaigns or counties’ boards of supervisors.

The modern push remains largely limited to northern California, though Jefferson spokesman Robert Smith told me that town halls on the topic are beginning to show up in southern Oregon. At least one of the protesters in Malheur is apparently a State of Jefferson supporter; a video surfaced over the past few days of one of the militants donning Jefferson attire.

But Smith was sure to distance his movement from those currently holed in Malheur: “The state of Jefferson has no intention of doing anything other than civilly and within the color of the law.”

Baird also denied any links between Jefferson and Malheur—“You can buy one of those hats on I-5 for six bucks,” he said—but cited the links threading the two movements. “I think that it’s interesting to note that the grievances all over rural America are the same,” Baird told me. “There’s mission creep by the federal government, there’s mission creep by [the Bureau of Land Management], there’s overregulation that’s affecting the way real people live their lives, and the net result is the criminalization of ordinary individuals who basically haven’t committed any crime.”


But not all rhetoric has remained quite as civil. According to the Sacramento Bee, Baird pledged to “start a straight-up fight with the people in [the Capitol].”

Source = When Oregon Ranchers Tried to Start Their Own State }