James Howard Kunstler, author of the book about Peak Oil "The Long Emergency," will be the keynote speaker at The Vermont Convention on Independence to be held in the House Chamber of the State House in Montpelier, VT on Friday, October 28th, 2005. Sponsored by the Second Vermont Republic, the convention, which will begin at 9 am and conclude at 5 pm, is open to the public and free of charge. This historic event will be the first statewide convention on secession in the United States since North Carolina voted to secede from the Union on May 20, 1861.

Organizers of the convention say it has two objectives: First, to raise the level of awareness of Vermonters of the feasibility of independence as a viable alternative to a nation which has lost its moral authority and is unsustainable. And second, to provide an example and a process for other states and nations which may be seriously considering separatism, secession, independence, and similar devolutionary strategies. The Second Vermont Republic describes itself as "a peaceful, democratic, grassroots, libertarian populist movement committed to the return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic as it once was between 1777 and 1791."

Earlier this year, Vermont secession activists published their opening salvo, the Middlebury Institute Letter. It declared: "We believe that, of the options open to those who would dissent from the actions and institutions of a government grown too big and unwieldy and its handmaiden corporate sponsors grown too powerful and corrupt, the only comprehensive and practical one is some form of separatism. Exploring this option is not a step to be taken lightly, because there are established forces that will hamper and resist, and yet it is a legal and viable enterprise, squarely in the American tradition...

"Moreover, the accumulating signs point to a series of major crises that will seriously disrupt and may even destroy the American system in the near future. These include economic disruptions in the wake of global “peak oil” production before 2010, deterioration of the power of the dollar through mounting and uncontrollable national debt and trade imbalances, continued degradation of vital ecosystems on which the nation depends, climate change and severe weather causing widespread devastation of coastal areas, extended use of military force worldwide leading to increased terrorism and the reinstitution of the draft, [and] judicial takeovers at the Federal level by rightwing ideologues capable of altering fundamental legal rights... Those who want to absent and cushion themselves from suchlike devastations would reasonably want to explore ways of removing their communities and regions from dangerous national political and economic mechanisms that are incapable of reform."

The 2nd Vermont Republic:  http://www.vermontrepublic.org

Schedule of the Vermont Independence Convention:  http://www.vermontrepublic.org/writings/vermontconventionprogram.html

The Middlebury Institute Letter:
 http://www.vermontrepublic.org/writings/middinstltr.html