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People in California call for independence from US after Trump’s victory

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WASHINGTON: A sizable segment in the United States has voice in strong opposition to accept Donald Trump as triumphant in presidential polls, and that sparked protests across different cities and unexpectedly triggering a secession movement in one of the most populous US states –  California.

YesCalifornia, which is pushing for California to secede and become a separate country, staged a daylong “informational session” Wednesday outside the State Capitol in Sacramento hours after Trump was declared winner.

Discussion of the idea exploded Wednesday on Twitter, where tweets with the hashtag #calexit rolled in at hundreds per minute all day. Many — often paired with the hashtag #notmypresident, in reference to Donald Trump’s election — backed the movement, but a significant proportion also adopted the hashtag to ridicule it.

YesCalifornia, a political action committee formed in August 2015, is working for a referendum on the 2019 state ballot that would start the long path to legal secession.

“In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children,” the group says in a 33-page “CalExit Blue Book.”

The movement “is about California taking its place in the world, standing as an equal among nations,” it says. “We believe in two fundamental truths: (1) California exerts a positive influence on the rest of the world, and (2) California could do more good as an independent country than it is able to do as a just a U.S. state.”

California is the country’s most populous state, making up 11.6 percent of the U.S. population, according to mid-year figures from the U.S. Census. If it became a separate nation, it would be the 35th-biggest country on Earth, according to U.N. data.

YesCalifornia rejects revolution. So independence could come only after a series of increasingly unlikely events — assuming the referendum gets on the 2019 ballot at all, something California voters will first have to decide in 2018.

Tuesday night, as Trump’s victory became increasingly apparent, a number of Northern California tech entrepreneurs joined in an extraordinary Twitter thread started by Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of the futuristic transportation venture Hyperloop One, who promised to fund “a legitimate campaign for California to become its own nation.”

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