Secessionists push for South to break away from US again

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Some white Southerners are again advocating for what the Confederacy tried and failed to achieve in the 1860s: secession from the Union.

So-called Southern nationalists are among the demonstrators who are fighting the removal of Confederate monuments around the South. They say it's time for Southern states to secede again and become independent of the United States.

It's not clear exactly how that could happen. But the longtime president of the leading Southern nationalist group, Michael Hill of the Alabama-based League of the South, says members aren't advocating another Civil War or a return to slavery.

Extremist watchdog Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center says strict Southern nationalism seems to have been swept up into the larger white-power agenda in recent years.

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