Secession group meets in Grass Valley, says new state “weeks away”
A rally to secede from California and make a new state based on conservative values drew dozens to Valentina’s Bistro and Bakery.
Nearly 50 mostly maskless residents gathered inside Sunday afternoon to hear New California State president Paul Preston describe the movement’s goals and motivations.
Preston, formerly involved with the State of Jefferson movement, said he left that group after losing confidence in its tactic to use the judicial process to make the state recognize its claims.
Instead, the New California State movement has been creating committees in counties throughout California to form the beginnings of a new government that will eventually form a constitution and the branches of a government body.
According to Preston, this is the constitutionally approved way to achieve the goal, per Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution.
The group declared independence in 2018 and says they have committees in 52 of the state’s 58 counties.
Preston said secession was “weeks away,” but would not answer audience questions about whether it would happen before or after the November election.
One grievance Preston’s movement has with the state is that, according to him, it’s become a democracy rather than a republic with restraints on popular power.
“If you bypass all that you have a democracy,” he said. “So right now we have a democracy. How’s it feeling? There’s not one time in the Declaration of Independence, or the Bill of Rights, do they talk about democracy. The founding fathers knew it was a bad word, yet we hear that all the time, don’t we? Don’t you have a problem with that?”
He said state leadership has led residents to leave California, including some of his organization’s leadership.
“I’ve lost 11 counties, just lost. All the chairs, all the senators, all the assemblies, just — boom — gone,” Preston said. “They all moved out of the state.”
Preston said state restrictions and guidelines stemming from the coronavirus pandemic reveal growing authoritarianism and the need to create a new state now.
“We did this to establish a new state to prevent a revolution, to prevent the Civil War, because we knew what the other side was saying that they were going to do. They were going to create this kind of chaos and havoc,” he said.
“I’m really proud to be in this room with all of you, because you don’t wear a mask. But others choose to do that and they’re afraid, they get intimidated.”
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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