Organisation of Active Micronations

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Organisation of Active Micronations
OAM logo.png
Official logo

Headquarters OAM Forum

Official language English

Membership 91 member nations at dissolution
(NB: the inactivity of many of these members within the organisation had been noted for some time)

Leadership
Secretary-General Vacant (de facto)
Anthony of Zealandia (de jure)
Vice-Secretaries General Vacant
Internal Affairs Secretary Quentin of Wyvern
Chief Justice Adam I of Überstadt

Key dates
Foundation 30 October 2009
Disestablishment 29 December 2011
OAM Reforms 13 July and 19 December 2010
Websites Official Website (down)
Archive of old website
Official forum (archive)

The Organisation of Active Micronations was an intermicronational organisation with a wide range of aims and functions, such as assisting the development of and maintaining peace and security amongst its members nations. As well as claiming to be the largest micronational organisation to have ever existed (despite many of its members being inactive within the organisation itself for much of its history), it was the first known micronational multinational organisation that specifically attempted to consist only of "active" micronations, and one of the few to expand beyond peacekeeping and negotiation with the introduction of important reforms in July 2010. After increasing levels of inactivity and external criticism, the organisation was dissolved by its founder on 29 December 2011.

The Organisation aimed to provide real assistance to newer and fledging micronations, maintain its numerous projects, contribute in a meaningful and relevant way to micronationalism and other aims outlined in the OAM Charter. The Council was the decision-making body of the organisation, being made up of every member nation of the OAM.


History

Establishment

The OAM was officially established on 30 October 2009, after a decision was taken by the A1 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the A1 Cabinet to follow the recommendations set out in the July 2009 Foreign Affairs White Paper to establish an effective and comprehensive intermicronational organisation. Although there were no officially acknowledged founding nations, the first three nations to join after the MGPRA1 were the Kingdom of Victoria, People's Proper Republic of Wellington and Kingdom of Barrington. Following heavy criticism from some micronationalists, most notably Robert Lethler, and A1's withdrawal from the GUM, a surge of members followed.

First two months

Original OAM logo

During the first two months of its existence, the OAM's online headquarters were based in a mediocre forum system that allowed almost no scope for expansion and limited support. It was thus that the forum was moved to its current location, as well as the website, allowing for the first purge of inactive member nations to occur. A number of member nations were suspended, and later expelled, due to lengthy periods of inactivity. A second purge followed soon afterwards. The 'Micronational Dictionary' project was also formally begun at this time, and scope for expansion of future projects was also established.

Honeymoon period

Following the move to the new forum, another massive surge of new member nations occurred. This greatly elevated the OAM's standing, and enabled the OAM to start work on its projects and other initial aims and goals. Members of the OAM often negotiated directly on the forums for alliances, diplomatic relations, debates on both macro and micronational issues, opinions and solving disputes. These discussions almost always produced results, such as the Aegis Alliance.

Post-Freeman period

The election of Pierre d'Égtavie to the position of Secretary-General marked the end of a period of time in which Gordon Freeman was, at most times, Secretary-General of the Organisation. He announced his intention not to run for Secretary-General "...for quite some time", although this was later not to be true, following the June 29th Incident. The same election also produced the election of two Committee Chairmen positions, the OAMATC (OAM Activity Testing Committee) and the OAMPC (OAM Projects Committee), these being the Royal reformed States of America and the Kingdom of Sterling respectively.

This period has been characterised by the restarting of former projects by the newly created OAMPC, the purging of inactive members immediately following the election by the OAMATC, resulting in a slight membership decline.

June 29th incident

On 29 June 2010 at 19:00 UTC, Pierre d'Égtavie suddenly and unexpectedly resigned as Secretary-General of the Organisation in protest against what he perceived to be a serious schism that had formed between its left and right wings. At the same time his nation, the Republic of Egtavia, withdrew from the OAM. This was followed by the withdrawals of the Democratic People's Republic of Sandus, the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia, the Socialist Federal Republic of Nemkhavia and the Republic of Bokonton from the OAM in concert with Egtavia's action. Each of the withdrawing nations blamed what they considered to be "unprofessional", "corrupt" and "aggressive" elements in the OAM for their withdrawal - the representative of Sandus specifically cited the Kingdom of Wyvern and its allies as being to blame. All five nations appeared to express strong support for Sir Gordon Freeman and their interpretation of his founding vision for the OAM, and only Sandus was explicitly critical of the Organisation itself.

July reform

In mid-July 2010, the wordy Resolution 70 passed through The Council, approving Gordon Freeman's recommendations for reform. The cornerstone of the reform was the replacement of the committee system with a series of 'agencies', with specific tasks to perform both outside and inside of the OAM.

Proposed OAM-GUM merge

Although in the past, the OAM and Grand Unified Micronational had been at odds with one another, several proposals for a merger were proposed by then Acting Chairman James von Puchow to try to "save" the institution from collapse and inactivity, after having been discussed for some time before. Many different proposals were put forward by GUM members, but all of these proposals were rejected immediately, or discussed then rejected by the Secretariat and The Council of the OAM.

Some of the proposals included appointing James von Puchow to fill the then vacant position of Vice Secretary-General to account for his recent GUM election win, and establishing a new agency in the OAM specifically for ex-GUM members to help integrate the GUM into the OAM, whereby the Secretary would have one extra vote in The Council. All the proposals were rejected by both the Secretariat and The Council, during which von Puchow accused the OAM members of having "prejudices against us [the GUM]" (noting the OAM and GUM's turbulent past), being "too big headed to accept us" [emphasis included] and unwilling "to mutually cooperate with us [the GUM]". After many weeks of negotiation, von Puchow "relaunched" the GUM with "reforms", and discussions regarding an OAM-GUM merge were dropped with no result, which later saw a temporary period of dormancy within the GUM start in September.

Elections took place in November 2010 and saw Tom Turner become the sixth Secretary-General, Gordon Freeman and Pierre d'Égtavie becoming Vice Secretaries-General and Alexander Reinhardt elected as OAMIAO Secretary. During the campaign, many candidates had promised reforms to the organisation and Tom Turner put forward two reforms on 4 December. While neither reform was implemented, a third reform to the structure of Agencies and Secretaries was put forward on 19 December and passed in early January.

Departure of Gordon Freeman

Following the Linden Affair, which largely took place on the OAM forum, the founder and then Vice Secretary-General, Gordon Freeman, resigned from the Organisation. He had very minimal contact with the MicroWiki Sector during this time, including the OAM.

Following his departure, and the establishment of the MicroWiki Forum many micronationalists feared that the OAM had lost its power, or would even collapse. However, this was not to be, and although the number of posts and threads per day declined significantly during this period, the organisation maintained relatively high levels of activity and member participation.

Freeman and his micronation, the FRA1, returned to the Organisation in February 2011, following a motion passed by A1's Parliament for A1 to rejoin the organisation. His continued claim to have "left the community" became increasingly ridiculed after this point, it having become clear that his so-called departure was merely temporary.

A new direction

Tom Turner resigned as Secretary-General in March 2011, causing new elections. Gordon Freeman was once again elected as Secretary-General, and Aldrich Lucas, Anthony Fowler and Joe Foxon were elected as the three Vice Secretaries-General.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the leadership of Freeman prompted a Motion of No Confidence against him, proposed by Crown Prince Jonathan of Austenasia at the request of various other nations. Freeman was accused of using the OAM as a tool to maintain influence in the community he had claimed to have left, and was also criticised for denouncing the sovereignty of member states and making discriminatory comments against neo-Pagans during the Linden Affair. The final vote was an evenly split vote, resulting in the motion not being passed. This sparked a mass withdrawal of eleven member nations a week later, three of which later returned to the Organisation, as well as the founding of the short-lived Inter-Micronational Union and the even shorter-lived OUM in response to what was seen by some as the discrediting of the OAM. However, the Organisation of Active Micronations remained the largest intermicronational organisation active in the MicroWiki Community, and claimed to be the largest in micronational history. This episode also allowed various criticisms of the OAM to be brought into the public eye.

The OAM University was also established during this period (July 2011), but never gained any significance and soon became inactive. Around the same time, the nation of New Guinea was expelled, following revelations that the nation was built almost entirely on falsehoods. Furthermore, a public advertising campaign was created for the first time using online advertising. This advertising resulted in a new wave of member nations, with membership numbers rising considerably from around June to August 2011.

Dissolution

On 22 December 2011, Gordon Freeman proposed Resolution 221, which granted members the option to either disestablish the organisation, keep it in its current state, or enact major reforms within the organisation. The majority of the members of the Council voted for disestablishment, with voting closing on 29 December. While the organisation was officially disestablished on this day, discussions began on the details of the 'reincarnation' of the OAM in a new form - an identical one to that of the Bastion Union - whereby different micronations' online fora would be hosted on the same 'super-forum', aiding inter-micronational communication. The new entity would not have any sort of organisational structure, nor would it bear any resemblance or have any ties to the Organisation of Active Micronations.

This new entity was eventually established on 3 January 2012, as the Online Associated Micronations or 'OAMicro'. It used the same domain name as the Organisation of Active Micronations used, 'oamicro.org', and was sometimes confused for a new "version" of the OAM.

Workings

The OAM operated similarly to the United Nations and prided itself on its commitment to speedy democratic processes, as the Council, made up of every member nation, had overriding democratic authority in any matter.

The Council

The Council was the decision making and debating body in the OAM. It operated on a basis of 'one nation, one vote' within it, regardless of 'standing' or any other factors.

Resolutions

The most important part of the OAM was the debating and either adaptation or rejecting of resolutions, much like those debating in the United Nations General Assembly.

Such resolutions were non-binding on any micronation and in order for one to be adopted, a majority of voting members must have voted in the affirmative. A resolution may have been proposed by any member nation.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat was essentially the administrative body of the OAM, consisting of the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Active Micronations and the two Vice Secretaries-General.

As outlined in the Charter:

The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such staff as the Organisation may require. The Secretary-General shall be appointed by The Council. They shall be the chief administrative officer of the Organisation.

—Charter of the Organisation of Active Micronations; Chapter 3, Article 7, No. 1

The Secretary-General and three Vice Secretaries-General were elected on four month terms by The Council. The first elections for Secretary-General were held in January 2010.

Agencies

Agencies were established in the reforms adopted in July 2010, each being headed by a Secretary. Three major agencies run by a Vice Secretary-General each and smaller agencies placed in each were adopted in the December reforms. The agencies at dissolution were (major agencies are in bold):

Agency Abbreviation Forum link Secretary (since) Formed Abolished
OAM External Affairs Office OAMEAO ?f=160 Anthony Fowler (15 May 2011) 2 January 2011 -
OAM Internal Affairs Office OAMIAO ?f=71 Aldrich Lucas (15 May 2010) 13 July 2010 -
OAM Non-Political Office OAMNPO ?f=161 Joe Foxon (18 March 2011) 2 January 2011 -
OAM Partnership Assistance Office OAMPAO ?f=72 Anthony Fowler (19 November 2010) 13 July 2010 -
OAM Projects Agency OAMPA ?f=73 Billy Neil (19 June 2011) 13 July 2010 -
OAM Public Affairs Agency OAMPAA ?f=75 King Adam Smith I (16 August 2011) 13 July 2010 -
OAM Recruitment Office OAMRO ?f=74 Ben McKinlay (17 July 2011) 13 July 2010 -
OAM Sports and Culture Agency OAMSCA ?f=162 Joe Foxon (2 January 2011) 2 January 2011 15 June 2011
OAM Transport Agency OAMTA ?f=142 Ryan St. George (12 October 2010) 12 October 2010 14 June 2011

† = Abolished

Elections

Criticisms

The OAM faced criticism from several micronations throughout its existence, starting from its establishment when it was argued by some that it was "redundant" and "very similar in aims to other existing organisations". They claimed that the OAM was "YAMO" (Yet Another Micronational Organisation) and simply duplicating the work of other organisations. Others claimed that the OAM existed only to jeopardise and attack the GUM, due to numerous verbal public attacks by individual member states.

Such criticism was particularly heavy from leading members of the Grand Unified Micronational, most notably Robert Lethler, although criticisms from Mr. Lethler diminished over time, with Will Sœrgèl of Sandus stepping up verbal attacks in mid-2010. He claimed that the OAM was used as a "basis of attacks and insults", was anti-communist, did not respect sovereignty, existed without a united purpose and "...[did] not foster cooperation between member-states".

Other nations claimed that the Organisation was dominated by a select few elite, such as founder of the Organisation, Gordon Freeman. They maintained that despite the nominally democratic nature of the OAM, these select few continued to dominate decision making.

Response

At-the-time Chairman and founder Gordon Freeman strongly argued against such claims, stating that the only similar aims with other micronational organisations is the "intermicronational peace and security" and "developing friendly relations" aims, which are "pretty much standard". He also emphasised that the other aims "...are really the crux of the existence of this organisation". He claimed that the reforms introduced in July 2010 rebutted this argument.

Responding also to claims that the OAM existed only to jeopardise and attack the GUM, Freeman stated that such criticisms were "without foundation" and that the public attacks made "were not a representation of any sort of policy or stance ever adopted by the OAM, as clearly stated by those involved", as said attacks came from individual OAM members and were not officially sanctioned by the OAM as a whole.

Gordon Freeman also argued against the claims by Sœrgèl, pointing out that the OAM was established "...riding the wave of respect for sovereignty by intermicronational organisation", and has "never violated the sovereignty of any micronation, whether they be a member or not". However, by early 2011 Freeman had become well known amongst some circles for his statements denouncing the claims to sovereignty of all micronations by definition. Freeman also referred to the fact that he himself, the founder of the OAM and multiple term-serving Secretary-General, believed in A1ism, a far-left ideology, for much of his micronational career.


See also