[Report] 2018 CPS Party Congress condemns White Supremacy, discusses Culture

CPS Party Congress Event Header

The 2018 CPS Party Congress concluded shortly before 11:00 SLT (UTC-5). Party members held discussion on a range of subjects having to do with a statement from the Party and its organs on white supremacy in the United States and Canada, the Party’s platform and agenda, and on Sandum people as cultural workers. The Party Congress also reëlected Adam von Friedeck for a fourth year as Party Secretary, the longest tenure in Sandus’s history.

The Party Congress began at 8:59 SLT (UTC-5), or 9:59 EDT, with the Party Secretary asking for all those present and playing the Party’s anthem, the Internationale. This was followed by a brief report on the Party Secretary’s activities, where he underwhelmingly noted that his “office has continued to advise the Office of the Sôgmô and the Central People’s Government on wide-ranging issues.” In effect, the Sôgmô recalled, það asks for von Friedeck’s advice on nearly all Sandum matters. His report concluded with a congratulatory message to all Party members.

Each Sandum worker and Party member has carried on this institution’s work in their daily lives. All of you in attendance stand as examples of devoting your time and resources to social productivity, whether through professional employment, academic work, charity, or political organizing. This is how the Sandum Philosophy and Party agenda are truly enacted: the efforts of each citizen-worker to build a more just, enlightened society.

Following the Party Secretary’s report, the Sôgmô presented a statement condemning white supremacy and white nationalism in North America to the congress; the statement was unanimously approved by the Party Congress.

Read the text of the statement here.

Following the statement, the Party Secretary motioned to put the Party’s proposal for a platform on the 2018 Winter Solstice election ballot in December. The platform, which still must be drafted, will focus comprehensively on the Party’s political stance and its vision for Sandus in the future.

Next, the Congress unanimously reëlected Adam von Friedeck as Secretary of the Party, as he was unopposed. He has served in this capacity since 2014 and has seen the successful transition to Sandus’s republican form of government today.

Finally, there was an open discussion on the role of Sandum citizens as “cultural workers” in Sandus, which focused both on the role of Sandus’s cultural economy and on matter realism—first coined by Jacob Barnet, the Diplomatic Affairs Minister. The discussion, which was wide and varied, came up with a list of things that the Sandum government and the Party can do to better include Sandum citizens in our cultural events and holidays. For example, the Party approved of the Sôgmô’s use of parties for Sandum holidays, but recommended adding a virtual component for holidays such as with Google Hangouts. Members also discussed using the events for networking and sharing common values with “Sandum-adjacent” people—a term coined by Adam von Friedeck and which has entered the Central People’s Government’s vocabulary since he visited for the Armilustrium. This term will likely begin to be wrapped up in Sandus’s three forms of citizenship, which range from full citizenship to social citizenship and “auxiliary” or “peregrine” citizenship (both of which do not have suffrage in elections).

In addition, the conversation also focused on other material ways to encourage Sandum people to be cultural workers. The Sôgmô mentioned a previous idea to gift tote bags to Sandum citizens in order to cut down on the number of plastic bags used by citizens. Recently, the Sôgmô purchased and has received Sandum flag pins, which will be given to Sandum citizens ahead of next year’s 10th anniversary. Other specific material items are still pending, but the Sôgmô reiterated that Sandus does give $25 USD to Sandum citizens to celebrate holidays and to keep traditions.

Last of all, near the end of the discussion, members discussed introducing an official tasked especially with events in Sandus and their coordination. This is a job that the Sôgmô stated will go to Sisenna Melville, who is also the bishop of the Ekklēsia. This role, which has not yet been named, will entail checking in with Sandum citizens, coordinating virtual components of holidays, and keeping a list of major Sandum holidays and traditions, as well as other extraordinary components of her job as she sees fit.

Sandus responds to White Nationalist, Anti-Semitic Terrorist Attack

On Saturday 27 October, a white nationalist terrorist entered the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Motivated by hatred and anger towards Jewish people, the terrorist, Robert Bowers, murdered almost a dozen people and injured several more. The incident has caused people in North America to respond with shock at the public display of the terrorist’s hatred toward a religious minority, as well as to advocate for agitation and resistance against anti-Semitism and against white nationalism. Jewish leaders in the United States have called out American president Donald Trump, arguing that his inflammatory rhetoric have radicalised his ardent supporters and normalised racist and other phobic rhetoric in the mainstream.

In Sandus, a country which is majority Christian but with a long tradition as a religious-minority country, Sandum politicians and citizens have responded with similar messages of shock and need to agitate. Though this concern falls outside of the concerns of the State of Sandus, 86% of Sandum citizens are American citizens and residents and some who are minorities feel unsafe in their places of worship because of vandalism, hateful and angry rhetoric, and similar instances of violence done against other religious minorities.

THE STATE OFFICERS
Reactions from the Sôgmô, the Party Secretary, and the Facilitator:

The Sôgmô voiced their concern attending their Buddhist temple in Michigan, not because they believe that Buddhists are targets of such hateful rhetoric but because there have been cases of misidentified rage and of rage against religious “others” in the United States generally. “I should preface this by saying that I am not Jewish nor have I experienced anti-Semitism,” they said, “but white nationalism goes hand-in-hand with notions of Christian supremacy and nationalism. After the August 2012 terrorist attack on a Sikh gurdwara in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States, people in the Buddhist sangha of which I am a member voiced similar worries and concerns.” They continued by voicing their concerns that the rise of white nationalism will likely entail violence for people of many minority groups, not just restricted to religious minorities. Jews, það continued, are historical and poignant targets, however.

“As a micronation,” the Sôgmô concluded, “our work is political, as well as cultural. We should not forget that both advocacy and culture are political, and I suspect that Sandus will work to embrace its advocacy role as a polity and as a voice of the free world in the future.” Það mentioned that the 2018 CPS Party Congress will likely include a statement or platform detailing Sandus’s increased role as a political advocate, demonstrating a potential diplomatic change in the State of Sandus’s diplomatic policy since 2014.

Party Secretary Adam von Friedeck, who is facing reëlection at this Saturday’s CPS Party Congress, commented that “the violent far-right has been emboldened by this decade’s surge in reactionary politics, with antisemitism in particular going unpunished far too often.” The Party Secretary added, “massacres like this are reminders that hate always tends toward violence,” recalling the Sandum national philosophy’s perspective on hatred and anger and how attacks like these will be seen again and again in the future.

I hope those of us who see bigotry as the evil it is can discern the best path forward.”

The Council’s facilitator, Ryuho Hatsu, expressed his disgust for the terrorist attack but commented that the “shock factor was gone,” adding that “shooting have become so common now.” As a local resident of the city, Hatsu stated that the city is very shaken at the moment after the attack. He concluded on a note of indignation, saying that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims, their families, and their friends, but that more must be done by all to agitate against anti-Semitism, white nationalist terrorism, and gun violence.

PUBLIC OUTRAGE IN SANDUS:
Artemis Langford, a Sandum chargée d’affaires in the Central People’s Government, expressed her sadness at the terrorist attack, adding that “the current environment in the United States is reprehensible,” similarly also expressing fear that this attack will represent a vicious cycle of fear, anger, hatred, and violence. “It furthers my beliefs that action must and will continue to be necessary, with or without the United States government’s involvement.” She expressed her deepest condolences to the synagogue’s community and to the Pittsburgh Jewish community, calling the antisemitic act disgusting and saying that “it will drive me to combat [anti-Semitism]. I believe that Sandus will do whatever we as a nation can to further efforts to combat antisemitism and terrorism.” The citizen’s call to arms reflects a broader sense of urgency in many Sandum citizens now after the terrorist attack.

10 Facts about the Sandum Armilustrium

The Sôgmô and the Party Secretary are celebrating the Armilustrium this evening, and Sandus is all together getting ready for the holiday! Here are some 10 fun facts about Sandus’s most important cultural holiday:

  1. The holiday is really ancient. The holiday has been celebrated since at least Roman times, and dates far back into Roman prehistory. By the time of Augustus’s death in 14 CE, the holiday had lost the importance of its more archaic rituals—but the holiday seems to originally refer to the end of the military campaign season.
  2. The name means “purification of weapons.” The holiday’s name, Armilustrium, comes from the Latin phrase arma lustro, or “I purify the arms.” A lustrum was a Roman religious ceremony which ritually purified an object, in this case weapons. But in other lustra, the Roman people were purified.
  3. There are no weapons purified today. In Sandus, the Armilustrium has been transformed into a pacifist holiday. Instead, we purify and wash our books as symbols of the weapons of yesteryears.
  4. The holiday is NOT Sandus’s version of American Thanksgiving. The holiday closest to Thanksgiving is Athena’s Day (29 November). The Armilustrium is more similar to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, or zhōngqiū jiē (中秋節). Sandus even has similar traditions, such as a festive meal with friends, family, and chosen family and the cleaning of the house.
  5. Sandus has celebrated this holiday since 2012. That is only a year after the founding of the State of Sandus, and three years after the creation of Sandus as a micronation. The only cultural holiday with a longer history is Remembrance Day (9 May).
  6. The holiday was first celebrated so that Sandus would become more isolationist during the winter months. The holiday originally was celebrated to mark an end to a diplomatic season, much like the role of the Ancient Roman holiday. After the Armilustrium, Sandum diplomacy would typically cease because of the school year and more business was done internally.
  7. Baklava has been traditionally served for the holiday since 2013. The pastry’s honey is meant to recall the end of summer and the earth tones are meant to remind eaters of autumnal colours. Interestingly, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival has moon cakes, while we have baklava!
  8. In 2012, the Sôgmô attempted a croquembouche for the holiday. The French pastry was too difficult and technical for the Sôgmô to make, however, and ended up being a mess. Hope still remains to make the croquembouche a traditional food item for the holiday!
  9. State media has broadcast the holiday since 2012, though some years Channum Unum replays old ceremonies of the holiday. This year the holiday is expected to be broadcast live from Quercus Candida at l’Appartement du Sôgmô.
  10. Adam von Friedeck, Party Secretary of the CPS and King of Überstadt, has flown out from Überstadt to take part this year. This marks the first time two Sandum citizens will celebrate the holiday together, and hopes have increased to have more citizens visit with the Sôgmô for future holidays. The Royal Family will also fly out later this week to be with the Sôgmô during the holiday.

King Adam will attend Sôgmô’s Armilustrium dinner, marking second Sande-Überstadti state visit

Armilustrium 2018

The Sôgmô has announced that they will hold a dinner for friends and colleagues to celebrate the Armilustrium ahead of the 19 October holiday on 15 October. The dinner, which coincide’s with þess university’s autumn break, will be held in the royal Appartement du Sôgmô and will include traditional food for the holiday. At first, it was an occasion to celebrate the holiday with the Sôgmô’s chosen family, but it has now taken on a greater significance for Sandus as a whole.

Following a courteous invitation to the Party Secretary and the King of Überstadt, Adam von Friedeck has announced that he has accepted the Sôgmô’s invitation and will attend þess dinner. The visit will both be the second state visit by the King of Überstadt and the first visit by the king to Sandus’s capital as a Sandum citizen and Party Secretary.

Read the Sôgmô’s invitation here for a state visit and the King of Überstadt’s response here.

Armilustrium Invitation - Redacted

A copy of the dinner invitation, with the Appartement du Sôgmô‘s address redacted.

The dinner will feature traditional food, such as baklava, Three Sisters Soup, and roast chicken, as well as other autumn desserts and delights, and will also feature communal drinking for those who imbibe alcohol. Since the dinner also falls on the occasion of the October Horse, a Roman holiday which featured a horse race and the sacrifice of the winning horse, the Sôgmô’s dinner will also feature a horse and racing theme—though, to be sure, no horse will in fact be sacrificed.

Guests have been requested to bring one book in order to be washed, representative of the traditional Sandum ritual of cleaning the home and washing books important to one’s life, which in Sandus taken on the meaning of philosophical weapons, or “arms.”

On 19 October, for the Armilustrium, according to tradition, Roman legions would enter the city and stop in an area on the Aventine hill to perform a lustrum, or ritual cleansing ceremony, of their weapons and of the soldiers. Presumably, this ritual stretches far back into Roman pre-history to mark the end of the campaign season and, as some anthropologists have argued, as a means of mitigating blood guilt and guilty consciences from the summer’s violence.

Sandus is not into war. It is instead a pacifist micronation and, unlike many other micronations, does not even have a decorative armed force. Instead of lustrating our arma, whence Armi·lustrium, we wash our metaphorical weapons: books. Specifically philosophical books, and other books important to our way of life. In Sandus, this holiday has become something of an Autumnal festival and, today, many of our citizens celebrate this holiday—shown by the fact that Adam von Friedeck will join in the Sôgmô’s celebration. von Friedeck celebrates the Armilustrium every year since the tradition began in Sandus in 2012.

Happy Armilustrium!

 

Citizens to Receive Free Flag Pins

On 29 September, the Sôgmô sent out a poll in the Council asking for citizens’ opinions on two flag pin designs, one including a flag pole and one without; citizens voted overwhelmingly for a design without a flag pole. The flag pins, which are to be manufactured to celebrate Sandus’s 10th anniversary, will be given to Sandum citizens free of charge, while the remainder of the 100 pins will be given to allies of Sandus and to friends of the Sandum People.

Sandus’s 10th anniversary will be celebrated in May 2019.

Proof-1
The Council’s winning design features a waving Sandum Bicolour without a flagpole.

Equinox Report: For A Familiar Autumn

Autumn has long been considered a season for us that has held much cultural importance. It is a cosy time, a time well spent betwixt rouge falling leaves, with hot drinks on a cool night, and socialising with friends and family during celebrations of our holidays like the Armilustrium or the National Day of Socialism. It is a season spent with our family, which in Sandus is a combination of our ascribed and chosen family. It is a time spent in the wonders of nature and rejoicing and being thankful for our humble lives—lives we labour for and we control in our small, fiercely-independent country.

This equinox marks not just the beginning of Autumn, a season which is very joyful and nostalgic to many Sandum people, but today also coincides with a Sandum holiday celebrated now for five years: Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Celebrated here since 2013, this is a holiday that has been part of Sandus’s cultivation of a distinct culture, as here it is a day to not just celebrate bisexuals but also celebrate bisexual themes in art and in our lives. A third of Sandum citizens are, after all, bisexual, while a half of Sandus are LGBTQ+.

This celebration during a time of equal day and night relates our country to themes of liberality, to openness and tolerance, to a conscious, purposeful, intentional life. It is a calm life, spent without reservations and without regrets.

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Charity Taxes: $1,600 USD, 88 hours volunteering
With only a few charity tax declarations in, this past Summer has been another record breaking season for the State of Sandus. Of only three charity tax declarations so far, Sandum citizens have donated $1,628.71 USD to charity in the past season, as well as volunteered their time for 88 hours total. This means that this past season was the second most charitable to date, and puts the State of Sandus within $100 of donating more than $5,000 USD to charity in the last year!

As more declarations are made, this section will be updated.

Three Officers of State support Council Reform
Over the last season, the Facilitator of the Council and the Sôgmô have prepared plans for a reform of the Council, Sandus’s democratic assembly. On 11 July, Facilitator Hatsu Ryuhu published a four-point plan for the Council’s reform, which include:

  1. The Sôgmô has a ceremonial and emergency role as head of state and chairperson of the Council, while the Facilitator will become Speaker.
  2. The Speaker will be elected for six months.
  3. Citizens who are members of the Council will be known as Councilors.
  4. There will be an annual Speech from the Throne on the State of the State, sometime near the Spring Equinox.

The Sôgmô has produced a bill which has been shared with the other Officers of State that builds on this plan, with some modifications. In it, all three Officers of State have a role to play in the Council, a new office of a chargé·e d’affaires where councillors are deputised to perform and exercise a function, and an established constitutional convention has been written down. This plan will be presented at the upcoming Party Congress in November 2018.

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Party Congress 2018: For the Sandum Cultural Worker
The 2018 CPS Party Congress now has a set date, 3 November 2018. The congress will focus on the election of the Party Secretary and especially on the theme of cultural production. While last year’s theme was focused on the subject of the Sandum identity, relatively close to this year’s theme, the theme of this CPS Party Congress focuses on the production of culture and specifically on how Sandum citizens construct culture in Sandus.

The sitting Party Secretary has begged the question about how we shall commemorate our tenth anniversary “in a way that aligns with the Sandum philosophy.” To what extent is Sandum citizenship about producing culture? How is culture a production, and how does that production relate to the intellectual production prevalent in Sandus today?

All these questions and concerns will be the subject of the Party’s congress in November.

State Media Cooperative plans Council, Party logos
The SMC has planned logos for the Council and the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, which are meant to focus on simplicity and on the symbols related to the constitutional organs. The proposed logo for the Council features a letter C in the shape of a Roman comitium, an architectural structure that was used for elections and assembly meetings during the Roman Republic. Thus, the symbolism of the Council’s logo reflects the classical republican nature of the Sandum constitution.

The Party’s logo features the English abbreviation of the name of the Party, CPS, in lower case below the Party flag. The simple logo is meant to reflect the wordmark for the State of Sandus with changes in font and style, which is meant to represent a cohesive political vanguard in the State of Sandus.

These logos are expected to be presented and possibly approved by the relevant organs by the end of the season.

Preparing for October: Armilustrium Planning and Getting the Public Involved
During this season, the Sôgmô introduced an informal Facebook chat group meant to encourage discussion with many Sandum citizens at once, and the group has already led to some changes in how Sandus is run. In a discussion on how to encourage citizens to take part in Sandum holidays, Sisenna Melville recommended encouraging people to create rituals for the holidays and publishing them in advance of the holiday.

Only important holidays are expected to follow these programmatic ends, and these may include:

  • the Armilustrium, 19 October
  • Athena’s Day, or Sandum Thanksgiving, 29 November
  • Christmas, 25 Decemer
  • Festival of Peace, mid-January
  • Losar, or Tibetan New Year, February
  • Regifugium/Matronalia, or Sancta New Year, 1 March
  • Minervalia, 19 March
  • Passover, March-April
  • Easter, March-April
  • Veneralia, or Sandum Love Day, 1 April
  • Lemuralia, part of Remembrance Day, 7-15 May (on only the odd numbered days)
  • Lammas, 1 August
  • Yom Kippur, September

These holidays, and maybe more, will be some of the first examples of rituals produced under this new system. Sisenna Melville has offered to produce the first ritual for the Armilustrium, and the Collegium Sacerdotum is taking offers for the others.

Sandus, Überstadt developing academic certificate

Academic institutions from both Sandus and Überstadt are cautiously optimistic about developing an academic certificate program, tentatively called the Certificate of Higher Micronational Learning, or CHML. The certificate is being developed as part of an academic consortium between the two social countries, with plans for more member institutions, and is open to involvement from other micronations outside of the two countries’ Social System.

Inquiries can be made to the State of Sandus at KremlumSandus@gmail.com.

The certificate is intended to fulfil the first year of higher or tertiary education, and is meant to be completed with 10 to 13 courses—10 courses for institutions which follow semesters and 13 for quarters. Students enrolled in the certificate program will be able to take any consortium member institution’s courses, and will also be required to take a certain number of courses in key micronational disciplinary fields—such as from the arts, humanities, and social sciences to law and language or communication.

The certificate is meant to provide a well-rounded factual and theoretical knowledge within various fields of study related to micronationalism. This certificate is especially useful for those interested in micronationalism or who wish to develop their skills as a micronationalist. It teaches micronationalists about the ancillary fields related to micronationalism and is also meant to support the development of interdisciplinary micropatriology.

Sandum and Überstadti academics have tentatively committed to teaching at least one class in 2019 during the springtime. Such classes could include humanities classes on the history of micronationalism, micronational themes in literature, an introduction to law, and a micronational communications class. What is more, both academics have agreed that, despite being the instructors of a course, they will also be students in whatever course they teach while both institutions are working toward developing the certificate program further. In other words, both will be the facilitators of learning—striking the balance between micronational colleagues and successful intellectuals and educators.

Academics and intellectualism are important to both countries, as both their leaders are pursuing graduate-level education. Sandus, in fact, even has a national order of merit tied to educational attainment; it is the only order in which the sovereign of the order is not automatically the most senior rank. The Sôgmô’s family all outrank það.