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'Calexit' movement says Trump win helps their calls for California to secede

A group trying to get California to secede from the United States said the results of the presidential election gave their cause new momentum. 

As they held a protest outside the state Capitol on Wednesday night, members of the Yes California Independence Campaign said they wanted Californians to vote on the issue. Their aim: a 2018 ballot initiative to force a 2019 special election.

"The relationship between California and the federal system just isn't working," said Marcus Ruiz Evans, vice president of YesCalifornia.org.

People in front of the California Capitol before a protest to bring attention to a campaign for Californian independence. (Sophia Bollag / Los Angeles Times)
People in front of the California Capitol before a protest to bring attention to a campaign for Californian independence. (Sophia Bollag / Los Angeles Times)

He said the money California pays in federal taxes isn't adequately supporting aging infrastructure and public programs in the state.

Evans and about a dozen other supporters paced the sidewalk in front of the Capitol on Wednesday evening, chanting, "What do we want? Calexit! When do we want it? Now!" Some wore dark blue Yes California shirts.

Yes California was one of several groups protesting the outcome of the election at the Capitol on Wednesday evening. Another group formed a large semicircle to share postelection feelings on the Capitol steps. Two women held "Free Hugs" signs. In the street, a group of dozens of protestors blocked traffic and chanted "F--- Trump" while waving posters that said "Not my president."

Evans said the Yes California group planned the event months in advance and would have protested regardless of the result. But he said Donald Trump's victory Tuesday strengthened their case and generated additional support.

"Now that America chose Trump, no one is debating with us that America is failing," Evans said. "So then the question becomes, do you want to go down with the sinking ship, knowing that you have a ship that's able to sail the international economy on its own?"

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