Louis Marinelli, one of the founders of the Yes California movement, which advocates the separation of California from the United States, withdrew the petition to hold a referendum on changing the state constitution. He also said that he intends to make Russia his new home. This was reported on Tuesday, April 18, by Business Insider.
“I have found in Russia a new happiness, a life without the albatross of frustration and resentment towards ones’ homeland… if the people of Russia would be so kind as to welcome me here on a permanent basis, I intend to make Russia my new home,” said Marinelli, as quoted by the publication.
He also noted that he has no plans to return to California in the near future. And according to Marinelli, the current petition must be stopped so that a new, separate petition can be drawn up in the state that will allow people to decide.
Business Insider notes that since September of last year, Marinelli has been living in Yekaterinburg with his wife Anastasia. His page on the social network site “Vkonakte” also indicates that he lives in the administrative center of the Sverdlovsk region. The posts on his page are in Russian, but some of them contain many errors.
Last December, a message appeared on the website of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia which referred to the start of a chapter of the Yes California movement in Moscow.
Marinelli launched the campaign for the separation of California from the United States in 2015. The process was named “Calexit” because of its similarity to Brexit, the exit of Great Britain from the European Union. In January 2017, it was reported that activists of the Yes California movement received permission to start a petition in support of a referendum on changing the state constitution. This was a necessary step in order to initiate a vote for the independence of the state. (According to current state legislation, California is an “integral part of the US,” and the United States Constitution is the main law of the state.)
In November 2016, activists handed over the proposed ballot measure to the state attorney general’s office. They had planned to hold a final vote in March 2019.