In recent weeks the government of Liberland has made several references on its social media accounts about a mysterious group known as The Liberland Settlement Association which has left many wondering just what the LSA is and what role it plays in the development of Liberland.
“We are the boots on the ground in Liberland” says Niklas Nikolajsen, President of the LSA. “We are dedicated to bringing freedom and sovereignty to Liberland and to creating a permanent settlement there as soon as possible.” Indeed the group has already settled into a temporary campsite in nearby Serbia which they are using as a base of operations while they wait for the day when they can move into Liberland permanently. For all of the many requests the Liberland government has made for people to join them on the ground, it seems clear that nobody has answered those calls more consistently than the LSA.
The LSA started within days after President Jedlička dug his flag into Liberland’s soil. A group of libertarian leaning Swiss had taken notice and began a Facebook page to discuss the many possibilities of the new European nation. Before too long they were joined by friends and then friends of friends who shared similar beliefs and interests. The group sent three of its members to Liberland to scout the land, which they were successfully able to do since the Croatian police were not yet occupying it.
By the time the scouting exhibition team arrived back home they had reached some clear conclusions: Liberland is strikingly beautiful and it would be well worth the time and effort to stake a claim of some of its land. The group sprang into action to create an official Swiss based nonprofit entity and the LSA was officially born.
Much has happened since that time. For one thing, a number of LSA members have relocated to the area permanently and are working towards the association’s goals day in and day out. Their campsite is impressively equipped: 2 fullsize Swiss army tents, two army power generators, an LSA built shower and plenty more. The group has even acquired its own vehicle, a used land rover recently purchased in Serbia.
Not everything has gone smoothly for the LSA. On May 11, six LSA members were arrested and charged with an “illegal border crossing” after crossing by foot from Croatia into Liberland. The group was released the next morning after being warned that one may only leave Croatia at an official border crossing. In the spirit of respecting the laws of neighboring countries, President Jedlička along with several members of the LSA later decided to enter Liberland by international waterway instead. Unfortunately, the boat ride resulted in more arrests, though this time the charges were questionable at best and the group plans to appeal the court’s ruling. At any rate, spending the night in jail with a head of state is not an everyday experience for most, but an experience recently “enjoyed” by some members of the LSA.
Thankfully risk taking in not mandatory, as the LSA mentions in its recruitment material: “No one will be forced to put themselves directly at risk by challenging the Croatian authorities, but some of us must, as it is the only way to secure a free and sovereign Liberland.” Setting freedom fighting aside, it does seem that LSA also excels at having fun. The President recently posed for a photo shoot while joining LSA members at their newly made onsite bar. The atmosphere around the LSA camp is clearly one of adventure and fun, with the side benefit of working for a cause.
If this sounds like an ideal place to be, it just so happens that the LSA is seeking more people to join their group. “What we need most of all are settlers and activists” said Nikolajsen. “Come join the fight for Liberland’s independence, and help us settle!” The LSA provides all members food and drink along with a place to camp while onsite. Additional support and perks are offered, especially to those who stay the longest. Liberland has received over 300,000 applications for citizenship, but as of now the government has only awarded citizenship to those who are directly working to make Liberland a reality (including several LSA members). For those who want to help in the early formation of this exciting new country, the Liberland Settlement Association appears to be the most hands on way to get involved yet. For more information,the LSA can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org