Coffee Party activists say their brew’s a tastier choice than Tea Party’s

by on February 26, 2010 · 20 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Media, Organizing, San Diego

coffee partyEditor: Check this out. The Coffee Party movement has begun – an answer to the Tea Party movement. One of our bloggers last week in his post called for a “coffee grounds” movement. Well, his call has been answered.  It is official, San Diego will have its own Coffee Party and it will form from these pages. Sign up here.

By Dan Zak /Washington Post / February 26, 2010

Furious at the tempest over the Tea Party — the scattershot citizen uprising against big government and wild spending — Annabel Park did what any American does when she feels her voice has been drowned out: She squeezed her anger into a Facebook status update.

let’s start a coffee party . . . smoothie party. red bull party. anything but tea. geez. ooh how about cappuccino party? that would really piss ’em off bec it sounds elitist . . . let’s get together and drink cappuccino and have real political dialogue with substance and compassion.

Friends replied, and more friends replied. So last month, in her Silver Spring apartment, Park started a fan page called “Join the Coffee Party Movement.” Within weeks, her inbox and page wall were swamped by thousands of comments from strangers in diverse locales, such as the oil fields of west Texas and the suburbs of Chicago.

I have been searching for a place of refuge like this for a long while. . . . It is not Us against the Govt. It is democracy vs corporatocracy . . . I just can’t believe that the Tea Party speaks for all patriotic Americans. . . . Just sent suggestions to 50 friends . . . I think it’s time we start a chapter right here in Tucson . . .

The snowballing response made her the de facto coordinator of Coffee Party USA, with goals far loftier than its oopsy-daisy origin: promote civility and inclusiveness in political discourse, engage the government not as an enemy but as the collective will of the people, push leaders to enact the progressive change for which 52.9 percent of the country voted in 2008.

The ideas aren’t exactly fresh — Tea Party chapters view themselves as civil, inclusive and fueled by collective will — but the Coffee Party is percolating in at least 30 states. Small chapters are meeting up, venting frustrations, organizing themselves, hoping to transcend one-click activism. Kind of like the Tea Party did this last year, spawning 1,200 chapters, a national conference and a march on Washington.

“It’s like trying to perform surgery in the dark,” says Park, 41, a documentary filmmaker. She’s exhausted, overcommitted, passing whole days on Facebook, not collecting a paycheck, hopping between conference calls, sending e-mails at 4 a.m., smoothing out conflicts over strategy. She has been swept up in this project, and so have others. Within two weeks of forming, the Los Angeles chapter produced a five-minute video in which citizens yearn for sensible progress and lament obstructionist truth-twisting.

Progress is patriotic, they tell the camera. Wake up. Espresso yourself. Something is brewing, America.

For the remainder of this post, go here.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Dave Sparling February 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I think CATS on Espresso might be more alert, but not any easier to HERD.

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avatar Mike James February 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

Who’s organizing the San Diego Chapter?

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 27, 2010 at 8:19 am

We will be hopefully.

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avatar Darlin' March 3, 2010 at 8:31 am

You. :)

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avatar Sue February 27, 2010 at 8:25 am

Coffee party? Come on are you serious with the name could it be any less original?! And are you really against the personal and economic freedom?

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

Sue, we’re for personal and economic freedom and democracy. That’s why we need something different than the mixed up tea partiers.

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avatar Mike James February 27, 2010 at 8:30 am

Great Frank. Let roll before the tsunami does. What is the process? Can I help. Are you setting-up a Facebook page?
Let start with coffee tomorrow afternoon for interested members.
Sorry I’m rambling in excitement.

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 27, 2010 at 9:10 am

Mike, right now, we’re trying to get the word out that we’re still going downtown to witness whatever is left of the tea party rally. Will be in touch.

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avatar annagrace February 27, 2010 at 8:36 am

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!
* PUBLIC OPTION & HEALTH REFORM
* JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
* END THE WARS
* STOP BANK RIP-OFFS

That is my sign for today’s rally.

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avatar Jon February 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

Love it Anna!

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avatar Mike James February 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

I sorry I don’t think the sign doesn’t truly symbolizes this movement. What are message should be that we need to look at the issues facing us in a honest and open exchange, no matter what are political leanings. There may be those who honestly believe that public option is not good thing. There will be those who believe that the war in Afghanistan is a necessary evil.
Do not forget the message:
Let’s discard the labels that divide and obfuscate reality such Democrat, Republican, conservative & liberal. Those words just create & perpetuate the illusion that politics is like a football game. One team wins, the other loses. That’s just not accurate & it is a distraction. Democracy is not a zero sum game. We all lose if we don’t come together as a country right now

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 27, 2010 at 9:12 am

Do you mean the coffee cup sign? Agreed.

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avatar Frank Gormlie February 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm

We just got back from the Star of India, countering the Tea Baggers in San Diego. The weather wasn’t too cruel and the rain stayed away most of the time we were there.

It was a good turn out for us, about 60% showed despite the weather! Thanks to all who came, it was great to meet you!

Report to follow…

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avatar Mutt March 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Sounds good to me. Since we live under one Plutocracy, with two Committees, –
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24889.htm
and these wingnuts with the teabags stapled to their hats have zero credibility, clearly something must be done.
count me in…..

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avatar Rick March 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Chuck DeVore is a Tea Party candidate for the United States Senate. His “scorecard”
is on his Wikipedia page. He isn’t likely to receive OBRag’s endorsement.

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm

We are organizing a meeting on Saturday March 13. For those of you on Facebook, go to the San Diego Coffee Party Movement and join this group if you are interested in countering the Tea-Partiers. When we iron out the details we will let you know when and where.

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avatar Jackie Arnett March 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm

My concern about all this is that I believe we need to get the democratic party to become more involved. Forming of this coffee party is ok, although I keep hearing the same things, yakateyak, back and forth of both sides. We democrats need to become active in a specific plan… for me the health care issue is very important.. As an RN I believe that everyone should have health care. We do not have the best health care in the world anymore. Look it up… People die every year because they do not have health care. With unemployment not getting much better more are without affordable health care.. Yes it costs but so does war… We lose more folks each year to untreated illnesses than we have in the entire war… Sorry but this is my rant.. We can work the kinks out but wasting time blaming and name calling does not help.. we need to work together on issues.. Thanks for listening…Jackie

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avatar Victor March 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I asked around, “Why start a Coffee Party rather than build the Green Party?” The responses to the Green Party could be summarized: bored and disillusioned.

I asked myself why I wasn’t more engaged with the final push to get passage of the health care reform legislation. The answer is: increased cynicism and fatigue (from the struggles of everyday life). I might yet put in my 2 cents and send it to my reps.

The Move-Your-Money initiative (to close financial accounts in national banks and open accounts in community banks/credit unions) seems like it could have legs and make a real difference. The March 4th nationwide protests focused attention on educational decay at all levels, and it has potential for sustained organizing. Both examples provide a clear objective – a change of asset distribution. Even better are actions that create assets that stay in the community that produces them.

What material resources are going to be redistributed or created by Coffee Party activity? Or is it a sugar pill for dismay?

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avatar Allan March 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

Sounds great when is the next meeting.

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avatar Frank Gormlie March 15, 2010 at 8:10 am

Allan – see my most recent post about the Coffee Party. There’s 4 groups now within the City or just east of the city.

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