Coffee Party shares many values of Tea Party

March 13, 2010 4:04:09 PM PST
The Tea Party is the movement known for its loud tea parties as supporters vent their frustration over bailouts, taxes and the healthcare crisis.

It wasn’t quite the same scene at a rather subdued gathering at the Cup O Joe coffee shop in downtown Raleigh Saturday. It was one of thousands of “coffee parties” held across the nation as the Coffee Party – a group founded on Facebook just weeks ago by a Maryland woman – tries to get off the ground.

“This is an avenue where people come together to try to get a voice and try to talk over the problems and actually have a solution to them and not just be mad about stuff,” offered participant Marques Thompson.

Thompson, and dozens at the Raleigh event, took the day to come together - coffee in hand - to talk, think, and brainstorm about solutions to the country's problems.

"I believe the current political discourse has been manipulated and dominated by narrow self-interests," said participant Kelly Branson.

Coffee Party members call themselves a quiet majority, diverse and inclusive - and say they share the same concerns as Tea Party members.

They want something done about healthcare reform. They bristle at the idea of corporate lobbyists controlling anything - they just take a different approach to getting that message across.

"You know I wouldn't say that we're trying to be the opposite of the tea party," said Branson.

"People who are members of the coffee parties and people who have been a part of the Tea Party -- when they sit down and actually talk through issues, they'll find that they have a lot of common ground. At the end of the day we're all Americans," said participant Davis Hall.

The Coffee Party boasts over 100,000 fans on its Facebook page and has branched out to a website of its own.

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