THE movement to remove California from the United States and set up a new liberal republic is steadily gathering support.
Leading campaigners for the Yes California independence campaign say that a breakaway from the United States is every bit as possible as the unlikely victories for Brexit and Trump.
The movement, formerly known as Sovereign California, borrowed its name and logo from the Yes Scotland campaign after the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.
Yes California had initially been regarded as a fringe group, but following Trump’s unexpected win on 9 November, more and more people across America are beginning to sit up and take notice. Campaigners are growing increasingly confident that a Californian secession is a real possibility.
Last week, 61%, of Golden State voters marked Clinton on their ballot papers - one of the largest Democrat majorities in the entire country. Campaign president Louis J. Marinelli believes this provides firm evidence that a political divide exists between nation and state, and shows California is considerably more progressive than other parts of the country.
As news of the election result began to filter through, the hashtag #Calexit trended heavily on Twitter, and in the past 10 days the campaign has received tens of thousands of emails.
Prominent Silicon Valley investor Shervin Pishevar is among the thousands of new converts expressing support for the cause. In a recent Twitter post, Pishevar said he would be happy to fund a “legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation”.
Campaigners claim that there is a strong economic argument to be made for going it alone, pointing out that an independent Californian republic would leapfrog France as the world’s sixth largest economy and would boast a larger population than Poland.
Proponents of the campaign are pushing for a referendum to take place in the Spring of 2019.