Monday, 30 October 2017

Principality of Freedonia

The Principality of Freedonia was a micronation based on libertarian principles. It was created as a "hypothetical project" by a group of teenagers in the United States in 1992. The project was formalized as a new country project in 1997, which included attempts in 2001 to lease territory in Somaliland. The attempt to lease land was rejected, and a riot ensued in response to the attempt, in which it is purported that one person died.
It was headed by a Texas university student named John Kyle, who uses the title Prince John and the nation started functioning in 2014 by Jlk. Mlk is the new general of FreeDonia I.
The Principality of Freedonia itself was based in Boston, Massachusetts.


In 2000, the well-known libertarians Jim Davidson and Michael van Notten, like Awdal Roads Company, traveled to Awdal in Somaliland with the aim of building toll roads. The two were mistakenly associated with Freedonia because of Freedonia's website statements referring to Awdal and Awdal Roads Company. The local authorities reacted strongly to the idea that foreigners were trying to found a new state there and proceeded with their expulsion. There were public events during which a Somali citizen was killed.


While the Freedonia project was active, it minted its own currency. It had a number of 50 Freedonian dollar 1 oz silver coins minted. It offered these coins for sale on the organization's website.


The Freedonia project's website has not been updated for a number of years and its discussion forum no longer functions, email communication with the self-styled Prince does not work, and the entire project appears to be defunct. E-mail statements from the founder indicate that the project is not being actively pursued as of 2004.
As of 2013, the Freedonia website is no longer available. In 2014 Jlk started a Facebook page about Freedoniajlk.

But, what is Freedonia itself?

When we talk about Freedonia, we are not talking about the Principality of Freedonia itself, Freedonia, is a fictional country. Freedonia is the name given to several fictional countries. Freedonian was probably first used by Americans immediately after the American Revolution in place of the demonym"American".[1] The term Freedonia was later popularized by the 1933 Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup. Over time, however, the word has come to have a more generic meaning. It can be anything from a noun describing a plausible yet fictional country, to an adjective ("Freedonian") used to characterize a place like the Freedonia of Duck Soup. Because the Marx Brothers' Freedonia had so many qualities—autocracy, diminutiveness, and obscurity, to name but a few — a place can be described as "Freedonian" for having any one of these qualities.


In December of 1826, a group of Anglo-American settlers and filibusters led by Empresario Haden Edwards in what is now Texas, declared the "Republic of Freedonia" centered in the town of Nacogdoches. This was the first attempt by Anglo settlers in Texas to secede from Mexico and form an independent state. The republic was short-lived however, lasting only from December 21, 1826 – January 23, 1827 when Mexican soldiers and Anglo militia men from Stephen F. Austin's colony put the rebellion down.
It has be speculated by some that the Marx Brothers may have been taken the name for their film Duck Soup from a street near the Nacogdoches opera house where they played a career changing show in 1907. As the Marx Brothers were well-traveled and there numerous towns in the United States named "Freedonia," this remains speculative.

Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement

The Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement began in Durban, South Africa, in early 2005. Although it is overwhelmingly located in and around the large port city of Durban it is, in terms of the numbers of people mobilised, the largest organisation of the militant poor in post-apartheid South Africa. Its originary event was a road blockade organised from the Kennedy Road settlement in protest at the sale, to a local industrialist, of a piece of nearby land long promised by the local municipal councillor to shack dwellers for housing. The movement that began with the road blockade grew quickly and now has tens of thousands of supporters from more than 30 settlements. In the last year and a half the movement has suffered more than a hundred arrests, regular police assault and ongoing death threats and other forms of intimidation from local party goons. It has developed a sustained voice for shack dwellers in subaltern and elite publics and occupied and marched on the offices of local councillors, police stations, municipal offices, newspaper offices and the City Hall in actions that have put thousands of people on the streets. The movement also organised a highly contentious but very successful boycott of the March 2006 local government elections under the slogan ‘No Land, No House, No Vote’. Amongst other victories the Abahlali have democratised the governance of many settlements, stopped evictions in a number of settlements, won acces to schools, stopped the industrial development of the land promised to Kennedy Road, forced numerous government officials, offices and projects to ‘come down to the people’ and mounted vigorous challenges to the uncritical assumption of a right to lead the local struggles of the poor in the name of a privileged access to the 'global' that remains typical of most of the NGO based left. The movement’s key demand is for ‘Land & Housing in the City’ but it has also successfully politicised and fought for an end to forced removals and for access to education and the provision of water, electricity, sanitation, health care and refuse removal as well as bottom up popular democracy. In some settlements the movement has also successfully set up projects like crèches, gardens, sewing collectives, support for people living with and orphaned by AIDS and so on. It has also organised a 16 team football league and quarterly all night multi genre music competitions.