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  U.S. Out of Vermont!; Move over, Texas: In the Green Mountain State, it’s leftists who want to secede.
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ContributorRBH 
Last EditedRBH  Mar 20, 2013 11:46am
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News DateTuesday, March 19, 2013 05:45:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionLast September, about 60 Vermonters met in the chambers of the house of representatives in Montpelier to celebrate the state’s “independence spirit” and to discuss the goals of “environmental sustainability, economic justice, and Vermont self--determination.” The speaker of the house had given up the space free of charge for the one-day conference. First at the podium was a Princeton-educated yak farmer and professor of journalism named Rob Williams, one of the organizers of the event, who at 9 A.M. opened the proceedings by acknowledging what he called “some unpleasant and hard truths.” Amid the twin global crises of peak oil and climate change, the United States was “an out-of-control empire.” It was “unresponsive to the needs, concerns, and desires of ordinary citizens.”

Williams, who wore a T-shirt that said “U.S. Out of Vermont,” did not advocate revolution. He was looking for a divorce. He wanted Vermont to secede. “Nonviolent secession,” he said, “the detaching from empire and exercising our rights to independence, a deeply American right first expressed in the Declaration of Independence, is a right that demands re-exploration today.” Williams noted that Vermont is one of only three states, along with Texas and Hawaii, that ever existed as an independent republic—in Vermont’s case, from 1777 to 1791—and that as “a national leader on progressive political issues,” the state was “uniquely poised to lead this national conversation on self-determination.”

The murmuring response from the crowd suggested they’d heard it before. Williams and his fellow travelers—who constituted not quite a movement, he said, but more “a network of critical observers”—had been calling for separation from the U.S. since 2003. They had gathered in the ornate rooms of the state house to spread the word in 2005 and again in 2008 and now in 2012. Vermont had not yet separated, but the secessionists who were calling for a
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