A new movement has sprung up that's asking Americans to put the teabags down and grab a hot cup of joe in the name of civic concern. Coffee Party USA
kicks off this weekend, and it aims to show that the Tea Party movement
doesn't speak for all frustrated Americans. Founder Annabel Park started the movement on Facebook
, and it has quickly grown to over 100,000 members.
The basic idea of the Coffee Party seems to be radical consensus-building, an interesting concept that will be executed this weekend at Coffee Parties across the country and immortalized on the group's Flickr page.
Will they be able to capture the popular imagination without Hitler signs
and regressive costumes? Keep reading to see the group's video, and find out what their spokesman told us about mixing caffeine and politics.
Here's the Coffee Party's kickoff video, which explains how this weekend's parties will go:
We reached out to Coffee Party spokesman Camron Moore to find out a little bit more about the Coffee Party movement. We wanted to know what sets it apart from the Tea Party, since you can apparently still drink tea at a Coffee Party.
It's not about coffee or tea," Moore says. "It's about this simple question: Are we as Americans getting the leadership and representation we need from our elected officials? If we can all agree we have, increasingly, not been well represented, how do we change this?"
The filmmakers behind the Coffee Party's founding both have fairly liberal résumés, which might lead some to dismiss the movement as a warmer, fuzzier rip-off of Tea Parties.
Moore says, "We welcome dialogue with all parties, and organizational affiliations. Our desire to sit down and talk and have dialogue first is very different from the Tea Party. In the end, we might agree with them about a lot of things, but our journey there is going to be different."
Yep, getting warmer and fuzzier by the moment.
The group has grown impressively in a short time, with over 300 Coffee Party USA events across the country scheduled for Saturday, March 13, and over 108,000 thousand fans on the Join the Coffee Party Movement Facebook page
Moore was cagey about the group's longer-term plans. "Our activities will unfold in stages. First, we will come together as a community to create collaborative environments for practicing democracy, online and offline. We will deliberate -- carefully considering facts -- on issues that concern all of us: health care, immigration reform, climate change, fair elections, better regulation of Wall Street, civil rights, foreign policy, etc."
What will stage two look like? Apparently, we'll have to wait and see how this weekend goes. Without the angry theatrics normally associated with political activism, it may be a challenge for the Coffee Party to get much media attention, but they've done pretty well without it so far.
As for us, we're not choosing sides just yet. We'll wait to see how far these caffeine-fueled political movements can go, in hopes of joining the 2011 Red Bull movement, which will certainly be the most exciting yet.