The scene last month in this small Shasta County city seemed like a perfect we’re-not-in-California-anymore-moment. That is, if you only knew California as the diverse, liberal bastion whose elected officials have tried to stymie the Trump administration’s moves on immigration, legalized marijuana, climate change and so on.
But the so-called Northstate is looking less and less like the rest of the Golden State. The vast, sparsely-populated region is whiter, more rural and poorer than the rest of the state — and residents are more conservative. While California has become the center of the resistance to Trump, a number of Northern Californians are waging a resistance of their own: against California itself.
Inside the banquet hall, the man many see as the founder of the modern Jefferson movement told the crowd that their gun rights, property rights, grazing rights and water rights were under siege by politicians who write them off as “country bumpkins.”
“You’re the ones being exterminated by a lack of liberty,” said Mark Baird, a Siskiyou County rancher.