Ekaterinburg — This provincial Russian town, located about 1,600 kilometres East of Moscow, is not the right place in order to discover there the leader of one of the least likely opposition to President Trump directions. However, Louis Marinelli (Louis J. Marinelli), 30-year-old English teacher and Chairman of the movement “Yes, CA” (Yes California), seeking Department of the state, chose this city as a place of residence.
The word “Celexa” (Calexit) — it is very far from reality the idea that for many years runs in California began to spread in social networks after the election of Mr. trump in November last year. Although this idea practically has no chances of success — this will require amending the Constitution — she had a certain number of supporters in the state. Some leaders of the technology industry have expressed their support, and currently is preparing the ballot for the elections of 2018.
Now, when this idea began to attract attention, Mr. Marinelli is subjected to scrutiny due to the fact that he lives in the country, which many in the United States considered hostile power.
The Russian, who meet with Mr. Marinelli and sometimes mistake it for a political refugee, and I believe that he is being prosecuted in the United States for his anti-government activities.
And in California he is forced to defend themselves against charges that his travel and office rent paid is associated with the Kremlin nationalist group. This funding has raised suspicions about what Russia intervened in elections in order to tip the scales in favor of Mr. trump — this was reported by the intelligence Agency of the United States, now happily trying to promote division in America, and to this end support the radical liberal movement.
Mr. Marinelli, who, in his own words, supports only non-violent means of opposition, calls his stay in Russia accidental and denies any connection with the Russian officials. Before the presidential elections in America, Mr. Marinelli said that he sees nothing wrong with taking a year off to teach English in Russia; then his movement, not shining much success, financed with his credit cards and operated from his home in San Diego.
The victory of Mr. trump and the subsequent growth of interest in the ideas of secession caught him by surprise.
“We have just witnessed the unexpected events — the victory of Donald trump, and suddenly, thousands and thousands of people began to support our campaign,” Marinelli said in an interview he gave in his decorated with the flag of the California home office (at the same time it serves as a bedroom).
His mailing list has grown dramatically and today 160 thousand names, while the number of registered volunteers has increased from 400 to approximately 8 thousand people. Conducted by Reuters/Ipsos survey, the results of which were published last month, shows that approximately every third resident of California supports the idea of peaceful separation from the Union.
This campaign received a new impetus in January, when the attorney General Javier Becerra (Xavier Becerra) approved the text supported by the movement “CA Yes” ballot for the election in 2018, and thereby opened the way to collect signatures. This movement has also received about 60 thousand dollars in donations. In this Bulletin it is proposed to remove references in the Constitution of the state of California that he is an integral part of the United States, as well as a second vote in March 2019, and then the citizens of California will have to answer the following question: “Should California become a free, sovereign and independent country?” However, supporters of the initiative must collect 585407 valid signatures, and it is no easy task.
David Carrillo (Carrillo David A.), Executive Director, California Constitution center at the University of California at Berkeley is not a supporter of this movement. “Department of California is so unlikely that even the discussion of this idea is a waste of time,’ said Mr. Carrillo in a telephone interview. But even if the state had the opportunity to secede, it’s still a terrible idea.”
According to the Constitution of the United States, “there is no procedure that allows the States to secede, but if you want a practical example, it is a Civil war,” said Mr. Carrillo.
However, Mr. Marinelli has no doubt in support of their motion. This former Republican, now a liberal political activist says that he became a teacher of English in Russia in order to be able to pay the bills. In addition, he has a Russian wife. They met during the lesson and, in his words, he intends to return to California in June after the end of the contract.
Mr. Marinelli was one of the founders of the movement for secession in California — it happened in 2014 in San Diego. At first he wanted to call his movement “Cal-Leave-Fornia”, but then stopped at the option Celexa — after a successful campaign Brakcet about the exit of Britain from the European Union.
Although there is no evidence of direct participation of the Russian government in the organization of Mr. Marinelli — this group is nominally independent, but, nevertheless, is funded by the state, supports it only what coincides with the foreign policy of the Kremlin. In addition, her funds were paid for a hotel room in Moscow during the Congress of the separatist groups from all over the world, which took place in September 2016. It was attended by representatives of the Texas nationalist movement (Texas Nationalist Movement), supporters of independence for Puerto Rico, as well as group seeking to restore the monarchy in Hawaii. The Russian group known as the anti-Globalization movement, and Mr. Marinelli, also stands for the collapse of the United States. Its representatives suggested to Mr. Marinelli office space in Moscow for the opening of the “Embassy” of Russia in California, and he refused.
Mr. Marinelli considers it mostly a cultural centre, where he will promote it, according to him, liberal California values as equality in marriage and the weakening of immigration policy.
“About us spreading a lot of false information — like the fact that I supposedly know President Vladimir Putin or working in the Kremlin, — said Mr. Marinelli. — It’s funny, because in the presence of covert Russian support, we would not be open. I live in Russia. And I would have to hide it, not talk about it openly. We have nothing to hide. We are doing a good job here. And we intend to continue to do it.”
Today Mr. Marinelli holds work from his apartment in Russia and is responsible for coordinating the collection of signatures. In his opinion, the greatest number of supporters he can find where most of the opponents of Mr. trump’s near shops for selling organic products or farmers markets.
“We have yet to achieve success on issues such as human rights and equality of women, the rights of LGBT people and the reform of the justice we are fighting for,” said Mr. Marinelli. In his opinion, the decision is a break with the United States. “In my opinion, achieving this goal can be compared with the murder of seven or eight birds with one stone. As an independent state, we could do such things.”
He also wants to ban foreign interference in Californian politics, and to do this he intends using the rule that prohibits donations to campaigns coming from outside of the state — previously the courts had rejected such proposals, citing freedom of speech. However, organizational work from the territory of a foreign state, apparently, is not prohibited. “Only California residents must determine their own future,” said Mr. Marinelli.