Florian Republic commits to Srbozemlje

NORTHCLIFF – New Florian President, Jessica Smith has committed to her pledge of protecting Srbozemlje from the Kingdom of Coria and Krasnarus in the war of lost brothers, a conflict started after a rogue assassin from the autonomous territory unlawfully killed the Corian King, Nikolaj the First.

The Florian Republic’s stance on the war has changed regularly since the start and it recently scrapped the protectorate treaty with Shireroth, creating an uncertain future. Smith, however, has discussed plans with the President of Srbozemlje over the territories defence.

In a speech, Jessica stated, “The Florian Republic has been a victim to poor leadership by the Florian Labour Party which was gullible to Shireroth. [Shireroth] had effectively destroyed order in the country [with] the parliament unable to pass legislation without permission from Shirekeep. In response to criticism over the war, we are committed to protecting all parts of Floria, especially our land in the Micras Balkans (Srbozemlje) and, in the future, we will attempt to finally bring peace to Apollonia. We thank Dimitrije Golubović for effective communication over this issue.”

In related news, the Florian Parliament has sought to circumvent Shireroth’s control over its foreign affairs, by tabling motions to guarantee the Republic’s future neutrality and to recognize the successor state of Hamland, Caputia.

GUM activity raises wider concern

MICROWIKI – A decline in activity amongst the membership of the Grand Unified Micronational organization has reignited ongoing concerns of a wider decline in the MicroWiki community.

A trend that had not gone unnoticed by community participants anecdotally was reinforced as fact by the latest quarterly statistics report released by GUM on October 20th.  That report saw a 40% decline in respondents, from 26 member micronations in the 2nd quarter of 2017, to just 16 in the latest quarter ending September 30th.

The decreased activity in GUM, as well as community Skype chat rooms, is a regular topic of discussion in the weeks since then.

One prominent MicroWiki participant, Kit McCarthy, referenced the trend as the primary motivation for taking an indeterminate leave of absence from micronationalism. “I’m spending too much time flicking between windows on my laptop to see if anything’s happening, when, invariably, it’s not,” he said a statement on October 21st.

For John Marshall, the decline is a self-fulfilling prophecy. “When I post stuff and get no responses or replies or feedback, I’m not inclined to continue to post,” he voiced in reply to Suzuki Akihonaomi’s efforts to identify the root of the problem. Others, such as Marka  Mejakhansk, see the situation as part of the natural ebb and flow of Internet micronational activity, a reality since the turn of the millennium regardless of community.

Yet, things may not be as discouraging as perceived. A recently returned member of the community, Akihonaomi, on October 29th, began publishing activity statistics for the MicroWiki forums in a wider effort to address the decline. While the forums only received 228 posts in September, October was more robust in terms of activity, with 377 posts. Comfortingly, the increase was not the direct result of a tunnel-visioned discussion on the activity woes; however, it masked another concern – a largely flat trend in the number of new users and discussion threads.

Meanwhile, unsubstantiated rumour suggests GUM may in part be the cause of the decline. “It would seem that some individuals do not wish to return to the [MicroWiki] forums until the GUM is completely dead … if the GUM dies, several users will return to active status” postulated Akihonaomi while referring to a purported protest movement against the organization.

Such rumour aside, as one of the remaining relevant, active, intermicronational organizations, GUM at the very least is a bellwether for the community’s activity. Regardless of any such protest, the organization continues to draw membership applications, including two that were on yesterday’s Quorum meeting agenda. That it has not passed any substantive resolutions beyond the purely administrative since the end of July is not alarming, given that such periods of uninspiring usage are not uncommon for any intermicronational organization.

As for the MicroWiki forums, versus long-term trends, the perceived drop in activity is not significant, suggesting concerns are misplaced. Post-per-day averages in September and October, based on Akihonaomi’s reported statistics, remained 2- and 4-times the long-term post-per-day average of 3.18, respectively. A cursory view of the forums through November indicate another, relatively, healthy month.

That the bottom of activity in the community is so much below that recently seen appears to validate the natural ebb and flow cycle to which Mejakhansk referred, as opposed to a more concerning structural problem.

Aärnesen plans Craitish referendum

CHERRY TREES – New Craitish Prime Minister Iņa Aärnesen has set down her party’s plan for her premiership, with the much-anticipated USSO membership referendum planned for parliamentary discussion before the end of the month.

Aärnesen was elected in September in an unprecedented Liberal-Centre Alliance (LCA) majority victory, becoming only the second Prime Minister from the agrarian-minded party. As the nation’s second ever female to hold the position, Aärnesen has gained a plethora of support from the public, sealing all but three of the available 33 county seats through a platform promising citizens a referendum on Craitland’s membership in the USSO.

Craitland became a founding member of the USSO in early 2017 under the administration of Social Democrat Hjaņ Berntsen. While the USSO is a primarily military alliance, Berntsen’s justification for Craitland’s membership was to allow for a means of effectively providing humanitarian aid to civilians during the Hammish Civil War. Since the apparent cessation of conflict in central Keltia, the USSO has focused on establishing trade amongst its members, though recent developments have led to an air of unease.

Antagonistic behaviour from Daocheng has subsequently culminated in Jingdao and Shireroth ending an unofficial armistice; a move which could once again drag a traditionally peaceable Craitland into warfare, while activities in the Florian Republic have seen its USSO membership terminated following considerably increased involvement from Shirekeep.

Mr Sacriches of the LCA, credited as the mastermind of its electoral success.

LCA head of communications, Alexandrian Marc-Antoine Sacriches – whose expertise has been credited with masterminding the party’s successful election campaign – gave an announcement which was seen to praise the Florians’ latest news as inspiration for the future of Craitland, “The Florian people have shown that USSO membership does not equal straight subjugation by the Jingdaoese. We are in control of our own future in this country, and that means all of us. Ms Aärnesen’s vision will give every Crait the right to decide our nation’s path, and together we will choose the best route forward and forget the mistakes other parties have made without our support.”

Popular opinion polling in Craitland suggests that a referendum asking a direct in-or-out question would receive a narrow majority in favour of leaving the organisation, though the format is yet to be confirmed and further influential campaigning is surely expected prior to the day Craits once again make their way to the ballot box.

Occitania to stifle secession attempt

BABOUGRAD – Caught off-guard by the attempted secession of its state of Sezentrania, the Occitanian government has obtained court action to restore constitutional order; however, its moral authority to quash the secession may be wanting.

A recent addition to the federation, Sezentrania joined Occitania on October 19th, and reportedly consisted of a single citizen, Daniel Lee, the state’s founder, on October 20th. Despite being its founder, the federal government refused to allow Lee to act as the state’s governor, instead designating the federal legislature, the Vergadering, as the state’s administrator.

Within a week, Lee’s desire to be part of the Occitanian state had waned and on October 27th, he unilaterally declared Sezentrania to be an independent state, something that the federal government only learned of when it happened across a wiki page profiling the Free Democratic Republic of Sezentrania.

Occitania’s government has quickly moved to denounce the secession as illegitimate, stating its contention that as Lee was not the governor of the state, he had no mandate to declare independence. “This is a real coup d’état and a real constitutional affront,” the government said through state media, “There can be no question of self-determination because this action is one-sided.” It stressed that it was open to a solution to the dispute over Sezentrania’s status so long as it was compliant with the federal constitution.

With Lee being the only resident of Sezentrania, the argument by the federal government that the secession is not a question of self-determination appears fleeting at best. While it is a fact that Lee did not follow constitutional processes, his decision as the sole resident of the state is, arguably, the practice of self-determination in action.

More questionable is whether the federal government has moral standing to oppose the secession of Sezentrania. On October 27th, Occitania announced its support for the unilateral declaration of independence issued by the Spanish state of Catalonia. Catalonia declared independence, in violation of Spanish law, following the results of an unconstitutional referendum in which a minority of its residents participated. With its own territorial integrity is threatened by similar action, Occitania’s government now underscores the importance of constitutional law and minimizes the right of a local populace to exercise self-determination.

Finding itself in Spain’s position, Occitania has today obtained a court judgment appointing another one of its state governors, Ivanna Minaïeva, as Sezentrania’s prefect, tasked with enforcing the federal constitution and cracking down on the secession movement.

Gotzborg closes latest chapter

LONENBERG – More than seven years after it returned from a three-year hiatus, Gotzborg will again enter an official, indefinite, period of dormancy.

One of Micras’ older micronations, Gotzborg had a history of spurts of activity – first, from its founding in March 2004 until April 2007, when it went on hiatus, and then from 2010 to 2013, upon its return. Since 2013, Gotzborg’s activity waned to the minimal levels it sees today, consisting of at-most a few largely administrative-related forum posts each month.

That lack of cultural and government development and ideas is largely a consequence of the micronation’s demographics. When Gotzborg was first active from 2004 to 2007, its citizens were mostly in university. Those who returned post-hiatus had long since graduated and embarked on their careers, limiting their participation further. The key leaders in recent years – Sinclair and August Charles II, Gotzborg’s founder and king – have also become increasingly busy with their macronational commitments.

To that end, both decided that the upcoming expiration of Gotzborg’s web hosting package was a natural end point for the micronation. While a return in the future is not impossible, no such eventuality is openly expected.

The micronation’s Micras territory, which largely encompasses its constituent realm of Victoria, is planned to be transferred for safekeeping to Stormark, which already protects other Victorian historical entities. Stormark will remain the protector of Gotzborg’s Micras territory until any return to activity.

Work to secure Gotzborg’s archives and facilitate the Micras territory transfer will continue between now and when the web hosting package expires in mid-December.

Editor’s Note: The Coprieta Standard was founded, and named after a city, in Gotzborg; however, it will continue to publish despite its home micronation being inactive, much as it did during Gotzborg’s first hiatus.

Locally-developed game launched

LUCÍUSU – The first computer game to be developed based on a part of Micras culture since the turn of the millennium has been released.

The Ballad of Old Lake Morovia: Part One was developed by Passio-Corum founder and leader Queen Esper (formerly known as Opyeme Time) and incorporates the story of fictional-pirate Captain Ismael Hatch, who plundered the Strait of Haifa on Micras. In the game, the user, playing Hatch, is a pawn of the Lake Morovia Blockade Fund who learns of dark, insidious forces that control the Strait while on Black Hatch Island.

The game was developed using RPG Maker MV and is available for download on both Windows and Linux.

It is the first major game developed based on a Micras theme since the popular Control of Destiny Series that incorporated the Shirerithian religion of Soloralism nearly 15-years ago.

IMO invokes past name, desires new success

KALTSSTADT – A new UN-style intermicronational organization has launched, hoping to succeed where others have failed. Borrowing the name “United Micronations” from past endeavours, it remains to be seen if the organization can shirk the YAMO label.

As the (at least) seventh intermicronational organization to carry the name, the United Micronations finds itself struggling against the failed reputation of its predecessors. That struggle may be lessened by a comparatively-unique approach: an annual in-person summit that will complement more routine Internet-facilitated communications. Such an event may develop stronger interpersonal relationships between micronational leaders and add longevity to the organization.

The first summit is tentatively scheduled for Normanton, United Kingdom, from June 26 to 28, 2018. The member states, of which there are 10 as of press time, will discuss diplomatic, economic, and integration topics, as well as the more specific threat of North Korea’s nuclear programme in the likely scenario that it is still a concern.

Organized by the Kingdom of Catan, a founding member, the summit will be accessible to the press and public who can purchase tickets for a fee of £1-10, and based on the tickets advertised, it will include an evening gala.

Underlying these efforts is the ever-present concern that the United Micronations will not survive long enough to see that June date. Public details on its operation are currently limited; however, a key part of its growth and stability, the election of a Secretary-General, will occur sometime after the close of nominations on September 22, according to a media report.