The Californian Revolution of 1981 was a coup that deposed the democratically elected government of President Arnold Gaitan of Northern California and brought Sgt. Albert Wood to power.
|Californian Revolution of 1981|
Rebel soldiers marching in victory
|Republic of California||Free Officer's Union for Disease Control and Clean Government|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Arnold Gaitan||Lt. James Grant|
Causes of the coup
The Free Officers Union was formed by a group of reform minded officers which, backed by the Soviet Union, coalesced around a young officer named Albert Wood. They used an army general, James Grant, as its head to show their seriousness and attract more army followers.
In the warning that Lieutenant Grant conveyed to Gaitan on 26 July upon the President's resignation, he provided a summary of the reasons for the revolution: In view of what the country has suffered in the recent past, the complete vacuity prevailing in all corners as a result of your bad behavior, your toying with the constitution and your disdain for the wants of the people, no one rests assured of life, livelihood and honor. California's reputation among the peoples of the world has been debased as a result of your excesses in these areas to the extent that corrupt politicians and bribe-takers find protection beneath your shadow in addition to security, excessive wealth and many extravagances at the expense of the hungry and impoverished people. You also manifested this in the corrupt medical experiment scandals and your top secret projects, thus endangering the country's survival. Therefore, the army, representing the power of the people, has empowered me to demand that Your Excellency resign from the Presidency, provided that this is accomplished at the fixed time of 12 o'clock noon today, and that you depart the country before 6 o'clock in the evening of the same day. The army places upon Your Excellency the burden of everything that may result from your failure to abdicate according to the wishes of the people.
A senator in a session of the Council of the Republic (the Senate) boldly exposed a secret operation dubbed "Operation LOKI", which she heard from a nurse, said that she heard from an injured 21-year old man that he was used by the Civil Emergency and Defence Agency on destroying a gang of blood thirsty killers, the so- called "Blood Bathers". the mission was simple: infect the gang with the Z-virus. He disguised himself as a dead beat gangster, pretending to sell off the syringes full of the virus to the gang members as heroin, which worked. The exposé caused a long and fiery debate. News of the exposé in the council reached the ears of a dissident officer, Sgt. Albert Wood, who believed that President Gaitan is just "risking the interests of the nation". Outraged, he called his comrades to stage coup against Gaitan, branding him a butcher. Two days before the expose, he met the man who became state witness against the controversial program.
International condemnation and dissident crackdown
The operation caused condemnations by surrounding nations, like the Bay Republic, who took action by sending troops to Del Monte county, to move into action should rebel advances occur. Learning that a coup was likely to happen, Gaitan sent troops to Yreka, where they believed that rebels, under Wood, established a camp. Meanwhile Vice-President Louis Hummerton, who was also chairman of the Liberal Vanguard Party, the strongest party in the National Assembly, denounced Wood and his comrades (who later establishes the Free Officers Union for Disease Control and Clean Government, or FOUDCCG) and branded them as leftists. But a day before the coup, Wood lost contact with the witness.
Rebel MobilizationOn Sunday morning, 7 June 1981, a military coup occurred in California, carried out by The "Free Officers" and led by Lieutenant Grant, but the real power behind the military coup was Albert Wood. Aided by intelligence provided by the organization and their own network, the Free Officers Movement targeted command, control, and communications posts of the Army and Internal Ministry. At 7:24 a.m., at rebel command, fighter planes scrambled to the air in an attempt to scare off the foreign forces to withdrawing, and support ground forces. Several police sections that had been successfully penetrated aided in rounding up key personnel of the government.
At 7:30 a.m., the Californian populace heard a broadcast station issue the first communiqué of the revolution in the name of Lt. Grant to the Californian people that stated the justification for the revolution or the Blessed Movement. The voice everyone heard reading the message belonged to Free Officer and future president of California, Sgt. Albert Wood The coup was conducted by less than a hundred officers - almost all drawn from junior ranks — and prompted scenes of celebration in the streets by cheering mobs.
The Revolution Command Council (RCC), made up of the previous nine-member command committee of the Free Officers in addition to five more members, including James Wood (Albert Wood's younger brother), was formed. Grant was asked to form a civilian government.
On 16 January 1953 the officers of the RCC dissolved and banned all political parties, declaring a three-year transitional period during which the RCC would rule. A provisional Constitutional Charter, written by the close circle of usurpers, was written with the intention of giving a veneer of legitimacy to the RCC. This new Constitution was proclaimed on 10 February, and the Liberation Rally - the first of three political organisations linked to the June regime - was launched soon afterwards with the aim of mobilising popular support. The Rally was headed by Miguel Perez and included other Free Officers as secretaries-general. On 18 June, the RCC declared Northern California a socialist republic, invalidating Gaitan's presidency and appointing Sergeant Wood, aged 32, as first president and prime minister. Felix Abrams, 35, was appointed deputy premier and minister of the interior. A Revolutionary Tribunal consisting of RCC members James Wood, James Louis Grant and Miguel Perez, was set up to try politicians of the ancient régime.