Before digging into any particular stories, I want to clarify more precisely the aim of this blog.
The broad-angle question I’m setting out to answer is this: Why is it that people in parts of the world, where people are reasonably well off, there are people who seek to withdraw support from their governments, stake out territorial claims, and start all over again? Do the various movements and causes which seek this goal share a common thread, or are they each unhappy in their own way? Do they each individually have a reasonable grievance against the governments they seek independence from or are they merely barking at the moon to no avail?
Rather than getting into a boring semantic exploration of what I mean by “separatist, autonomist, and secessionist movements in the rich-world,” readers will be better served by my outlining of just a few of the movements I hope to cover in the next few years. Here are just a few decent stories about a few of them that have popped up on my radar:
- Separatist movements in the United Kingdom: I’m interested in exploring the movements happening right now in Scotland and Wales for independence from the United Kingdom. I’m particularly interested in digging into some lesser-known voices within these movements.
- Quebec sovereignty movement: Having been to Quebec 20 years ago, I’ve been impressed by their independence streak for many years. Exploring the history of Parti Québécois, Bloc Québécois, and militants of an older generation from the Front de libération du Québec is going to be illuminating.
- Cascadia Bioregional Movement: Living here for 15 years, I’ve become quite familiar with some facets of the Cascadia movement. With its advocates leaning a little on the quirky and academic side of things, teasing out just how concrete their vision is will be a fun hike through the woods.
- The Republic of New Afrika: With its roots in Southern Black Communist separatism of the 1920s and getting a boost by Black nationalists in the 1960s and 1970s, the Republic of New Black Africa – seeking to establish a Black state separate from the United States in the territory of the present-day (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina – still has adherents. What they want and how they seek to achieve it are only a few fascinating aspects of this movement.
- Puerto Rican Independence from the United States: While talk among American Democrats is hot right now with calls for statehood for Puerto Rico, the movement to achieve complete independence for the island is still ongoing. Represented in its above-ground manifestations by political parties like the Puerto Rican Independence Party and Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana, this movement also has a more underground militant side represented by Ejército Popular Boricua or Los Macheteros.
- Basque Nationalism: There’s been a lot of hot news in Spain about the Catalan independence movement in recent years. Spain’s other significant separatist movement hasn’t gotten quite as much coverage of late, however. On the other side of the Iberian peninsula, the Basque independence movement may be kicking up again on Spain’s Northern coast. I’m hoping to dig into the origins of the conflict with Spain and ETA’s long campaign of separatist terrorism.
Exploring these, along with many other movements, is going the be an exciting adventure.
I hope you’ll enjoy it too.