05:24 GMT +319 October 2019
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    A woman carries a California flag during the 4th of July Parade in Alameda, California on Monday, July 4, 2016.

    Disunited States: If at First You Don't Secede, There's Always a 'Calexit'

    © AFP 2019 / Gabrielle Lurie
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    As the US presidential race unraveled in front of the world's eyes, many people wished they could just keep them shut while others celebrated a new dawn starting with Donald Trump.

    Meanwhile, many people living in the state of California, which voted overwhelmingly in Clinton's favor, woke up wondering what next, an independent California?

    ​A campaign for a so-called "Calexit" has been around for the last two years, but since US President-elect Donald Trump's victory on November 9, it has received "a breath of fresh air," Louis Marinelli, president of "Yes California" told Sputnik.

    Mr. Marinelli, campaigning for a free, independent California Republic, has received support from thousands of people after the 45th President of the United States was elected.

    ​"After Donald Trump's victory, the campaign has had a new breathe of life. I have thousands of emails in my inbox and our Facebook group has doubled in size.

    "There is huge support for it now in California whereas before it was just brushed aside," Mr. Marinelli said.

    More than half a million signatures, written by hand need to be collected, pledging support for a referendum if one is to be lawfully held.

    "We need people willing to go out with a clipboard and pen and paper, and get people to sign up to our website," Mr. Marinelli told Sputnik, who said he felt confident they could achieve it.

    As for whether the average Californian understands — or even knows what a Calexit is, the "Yes California" campaign says it has another three years — on top of the two it has already been working on, to explain to the state what it means.

    "An independent California would mean we could refocus our taxes from being spent on subsidizing other states and building their hospitals and roads. It would mean we rebuild Californian hospitals and roads and improve the quality of life for people and their future," Mr. Marinelli said.

    "If it became independent then we wouldn't have to join in with the rest of America's imperialistic and aggressive foreign policy agenda and instead be a force for good."

    While many people took to Twitter to vent their thoughts on a Calexit — for Louis Marinelli and his "Yes California" group, it's no joke.

    ​"It's a growing sentiment that more and more states want to govern themselves," Louis Marinelli said.

    ​"There's a movement in Texas, in New Hampshire, in Hawaii and in California we're leading the campaign for independence. And that sentiment represents all sides of the political spectrum, not just left or right but across the board."

    California has the sixth largest economy in the world and produces enough food to sustain itself — and a growing movement for independence.

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    Tags:
    California referendum, Calexit, campaign, politics, independence, 2016 US Presidential election, Donald Trump, United States, California
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