The Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 26, 2004 was one of the most devastating natural disasters in the modern history of planet Earth. In a matter of hours, more than 186,000 people had been killed, entire towns destroyed, and the livelihood of millions changed forever. Some 42,000 people are still listed as missing by the United Nations.
Few communities were spared from the effects of the tsunami, including the micronational community that had several participants resident in the affected areas. A prominent micronationalist, Robert Kee (a.k.a. Abbas Namvari) reported that his family was in good health after the disaster, having escaped the worst damages in Malaysia.
The international response to the tsunami was swift and overwhelming—just a week after the disaster, on New Year’s Day of 2005, over $8.1b USD had been pledged to assist relief efforts. The event mobilised governments throughout the world to respond with money, supplies, and troops.
Governments weren’t alone in providing relief. Everyday citizens throughout the world dug into their individual pockets to contribute funds to the various non-governmental organisations participating in relief operations. Among those citizens were various micronationalists who band together in one of the most important coordinated micronational responses to a macronational disaster.
In the Solomonic Empire of Attera, Imperial Ras Charles Beard created the Attera South Asia Assistance Fund (ASAAF), which would become the pinnacle of local simulationist community relief efforts. The fund, created on December 28, had received contributions totaling 60% of its final goal ($200 USD) within just two days. Attera’s Prime Minister, Johanns fonn Klosso, noted that “disasters … could hit you too someday. Be compassionate and others will be compassionate to you.”
Micronationalists understood the message and by January 5, ASAAF’s goal had been exceeded, with a total of $220 USD raised for relief efforts. Beard sent the funds to Catholic Relief Services.
The Atteran fund was not the only contribution to the relief efforts by the micronational community. Noting that there was an inherent delay in donating through ASAAF, several micronationalists contributed directly to non-governmental organisations so that the money would be more quickly available for relief efforts.
In the end, the tsunami was an important motivator at the micronational level as the community had often been limited to its Internet roots. Few micronations, and indeed micronationalists, even acknowledged the existence of the community at the macronational level. The concerted effort led by ASAAF brought micronationalists together to punch above their weight and contribute to the wider macronational community. For a time, it was not taboo to be a person involved in something as “silly” as micronationalism.