BURLINGTON, Vt. – Separatists, unite!

That was the pitch recently by neo-Confederates, New England free-staters, Hawaiian nationalists, and a clutch of other dissenters who want out of the United States.

The First North American Secessionist Convention, billed as the first national gathering of secessionists since the Civil War, included an eclectic mix of conservatives, liberals, libertarians, left-wing Green Party zealots, and right-wing Christian activists.

The bearded, denim-vested representative of the Alaskan Independence Party sat next to the United Texas Republic man in his gray suit and red tie, just across from the blond pony-tailed representative of Cascadia (better known as Oregon, Washington and British Columbia).

They joined folks from such disparate groups as the League of the South, the Confederate Legion, the Free State Project, Christian Exodus, Free Hawaii, the Alliance for Democracy, the Abbeville Institute, and the Center for Democracy and the Constitution.

All agreed on one thing: their disdain for “the empire” of modern America.

The latter-day separatists inveighed against government intrusion, the influence of corporations, and the loss of individual freedoms. They castigated the Patriot Act, the war in Iraq, and corruption in Congress.

“Reform is useless. Rebellion and revolution are useless,” said Kirkpatrick Sale, a New York author who organized the session. “What is left? Secession.”

Full piece here.