In the unauthorized micronation of Sealand established on a former military base off the coast of England, we still oppose the British government … but also the corona virus.
About ten kilometers off the coast of Suffolk in the east of England, this former anti-aircraft base of World War II declared itself an independent micronation 54 years ago. And the British family that rules there is proud to have fought the corona virus outbreak.
“We are not affected by the Govt. At this point, I think we can say it in the only country in the world,” said Liam Bates, 32, one of the self-proclaimed “princes”. Sealand.
Built to withstand Nazi attacks, the site, which rests on two bare concrete towers, was demolished after World War II because it was in the international waters off the British Ocean. That never happened.
Realizing an opportunity, Liam’s grandfather Roy Bates, a businessman who ran a pirate radio station, captured the fort and declared independence in 1967 to the President of Ceylon.
He gave it a national flag and the Latin motto: “E mere libertas” – “freedom from the sea” – and created a constitution.
– Lords’ Topics –
Sealant looks like a pirate’s den as its black, red and white flag is blown away by the wind.
Observers, who have to show evidence of a negative Govt-19 test, can access it through the winch, clinging tightly to the rope as the waves rumble beneath their feet. First time: Seal the passports.
On board, tools, paint cans and cans are carefully stored. Potted plants brighten the kitchen, while the bedrooms contain books such as Thomas Hardy’s “Far From the Raging Crowds.”
Inside the concrete towers is a play room and meeting room with a multi-faith church, pool table and play equipment.
Some of these rooms are below sea level and are constantly dying.
Liam Bates oversees the operations of the Principality, while his older brother, James, runs a family-owned rooster fishing business on the land.
Because he has an American fiance and an older brother, Liam mocks him as “Prince Harry” of Ceylon. They say their father, “Prince Michael”, “slowed down a bit” after an operation.
– “total loneliness” –
Sealant invents a nerve: the Chancellor sells the titles of nobles on the Internet. One can be made the “Lord of Sealant” for 29.99 (35 euros). As Duke, you have to pay 99 499.99 (8 588).
These revenues, Liam points out, are “sufficient to support Sealand, which is already huge.”
“Full point freedom, whatever you want: religion, expression, any kind of orientation,” he lists.
Between Bates’ visits, the stage is maintained every two weeks by two people: Joe Hamil, 58, and Michael Barrington, 66.
During his imprisonment, Mr. Ham says he volunteered to spend two 11-week periods there alone.
In conclusion, “I think my mental state is getting a little worse,” says a London resident who previously worked at Insurance. “It was a complete isolation.”
However, the sealant is much more comfortable than it used to be. Wind turbines and solar panels replaced diesel generators, one of which caught fire in 2012 and caused extensive damage.
Little evidence of World War II remains from the attempt by American contractors to establish a data storage center in the towers.
Liam Bates said the servers are housed in a room that bears witness to “our national history.” He still sees the future of Ceylon as digital, and plans to launch cryptocurrency, about which he remains a mystery.
– Rebellion –
There is also a small room with an iron bed, which at one time held the Chancellor’s only prisoner, during the “Great Rebellion of Sealand” in 1978.
After an argument with Roy Bates, a German businessman sent mercenaries to attack the stage while he was away.
Roy Bates and his son Michael took her on a helicopter check at dawn and freed the mercenaries, but the businessman’s lawyer was detained. The man accused of treason was finally released after the intervention of a German ambassador.
This is not the only violent event in Sealand’s history: in 1967, the Bates family fought a mob with Molotov cocktails from a pirate radio station.
The lawsuit was settled out of court in 1968 after Roy and his son Michael shot down a passing ship, but the court ruled that the fort was outside British jurisdiction.
Although the site has been in the British Ocean since 1987, the United Kingdom has made no attempt to recover it.
“They like to pretend we don’t, and hope that one day we can carry our bags,” Liam said. “Of course, that will never happen.”
am-pau / gmo / alc
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