Feature:Video

Who wrote the secession petitions? [VIDEO]

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David Martosko
Executive Editor

Alabama

Derrick Belcher’s petition for Alabama secession gathered 25,000 signatures in five days — not quite Texas speed, but better than the nearly 70 competing efforts from the 49 other states.

“I don’t think the federal government is being fair to the American people,” Belcher told WTVY-4 in Dothan, Ala.

“I think they are being overbearing. They are taxing us to death, and they are taking away our freedoms at a breakneck speed.”

He said Alabama’s independence from Washington, D.C. isn’t just a pipe dream.

“I believe that they will have to take it seriously,” Belcher claimed, “because when 25,000 people speak up and say ‘This is what we want’ — I mean, they are making some noise.”

Mobile Press-Register reporter George Talbot wrote Tuesday that Belcher is “a truck driving, knife collecting former owner of a topless car wash who describes himself as ‘an absolute Libertarian.’”

Secession, Belcher told the Press-Register, would allow states to opt out of welfare programs and other federal government entitlements.

“The people who want those handouts, it’ll force them to move to a different state,” he said. “It will consolidate working people and that’s how we turn things around.”

“I’m working poor. And I work — I’ve never taken a dime from the government. I’ll starve before I take a handout.”

And his former topless car wash in Mobile?

Belcher said city officials charged him with obscenity in 2001 after he ran the place for a decade. He still blames the government for killing his business.

“The government ripped my business away,” the secession advocate told the Press-Register, “and now they’re choking America to death with rules and regulations.”

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