Thursday, April 21, 2016

Liberland founder planning festival near border

Liberland: How one man plans to build a new libertarian paradise in Europe | Europe | News | The Independent - Adam Withnall:

April 17, 2016 - "When he plunged a flag into the banks of the Danube and declared the birth of the Free Republic of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka was dismissed by governments and media organisations as a joke.

"Yet one year and many diplomatic missions later, his vision of a libertarian paradise born on a patch of unwanted land has 400,000 would-be citizens, the backing of a range of political movements around the world and even its own national beer.

"Thanks to the efforts of the Croatian border police, Liberland has still technically not got a single inhabitant, and its 7 sq km of boggy wetlands boast just one dilapidated building, an abandoned hunting lodge.

"But speaking in an exclusive interview with The Independent, 'President' Jedlicka reveals that plans are nearly in place for a group of Liberlanders to break through that police blockade in such numbers 'there is nothing they can do to stop it'....

"Liberland lies on the Croatia-Serbia border, roughly halfway between Zagreb and Belgrade. A product of a border dispute between the two countries lasting a quarter of a century, it lies on a portion of territory which neither country is willing to claim."

"In the year since Liberland was founded – on 13 April, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday – Croatia has set up police patrols and arrested dozens of people for attempting to access the unexpectedly hotly-disputed territory....

 "That’s all about to change, however. This weekend Mr Liberland and his volunteer ministers held a conference to discuss Liberland’s future at a Croatian hotel just 5km from the border.

"And in the summer, he plans to stage a 'state celebration' in a field next to the disputed territory which, if all goes to plan, could snowball into something much more. 'It’s going to be a big media event,' he says. 'We would like to invite 5,000 people, with the best artists who support Liberland [attending], and we already have two or three major festival organisers in the area helping us.

"'That could be the time when we actually take over control of this territory,' he says, with a clear sense of anticipation. 'We are not pushing for it yet, but there is no way you can stop 5,000 people taking over control of Liberland'....

"Liberland will have just five laws, he says, with the state’s only responsibilities surrounding justice, security and diplomacy. Tax would be paid on a 'voluntary' basis, with people free to smoke marijuana, drive as fast as they like and own guns – all as long as they don’t hurt anyone else."

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