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article image#FindTheCommonGround campaign occurring tonight on Twitter Special

By Justin King     Jan 3, 2014 in Internet
Tonight on Twitter, the Common Ground Movement will be attempting to reach activists the world over by creating a twitterstorm and forcing information about the movement to trend on the social media site.
The campaign to force the hashtag #FindTheCommonGround to trend on Twitter's system was organized through the Common Ground Movement’s Facebook page and the event page set up specifically for tonight’s project. A similar tactic was employed last week to raise awareness of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The Common Ground Movement website lays out a case to unite all activists under one banner in an attempt to mimic the success that occurred during Iceland’s recent nonviolent revolution. It also gives several examples of when activists on the left and right of the political spectrum came together in the United States, such as in opposition to the attempted U.S. attacks on Syria.
Digital Journal contacted two of the organizers, Justin Breen and Wil Brown, to obtain an inside view of the movement and the goals of the social media campaign.
The interview
What exactly is the Common Ground Movement? (Answered by Wil Brown)
The Common Ground Movement is a decentralized, non-violent resistance movement designed to unite people and activist groups from across all areas of the political, economic and social spectrums. People have been lacking a unifying set of ideas for quite some time. The Common Ground Movement is all about getting past the petty, insignificant differences that are constantly dividing us and moving forward on things that actually matter.
What is the makeup of those involved with the Common Ground Movement? (Answered by Justin Breen)
The Common Ground Movement isn't an organization per say, but rather a basic set of ideas that any sane person should be able to agree with. The leader of Iceland's revolution started with a basic premise of finding 3 simple things that everyone could rally behind. Through many focus groups of people from all backgrounds and ideologies, we have come up with our own set of Common Ground Ideas.
If these ideas resonate with you: No more wars of aggression, end the surveillance state and the militarization of the police, and end the corrupt political/financial systems currently in place; then you are already a "Common Grounder.”
Now is the time to find others that agree to unite with locally, regionally, and nationally in order to effect actual change.
What is the makeup of those involved with the Common Ground Movement? (Answered by Justin Breen)
The Common Ground Movement can best be described by the different layers represented in the symbol itself. At its largest level, it is a visual representation of a decentralized society; many different communities coming together, all unified under one common idea of cooperation based on the Non Aggression Principle.
The next level is the coordination between the different regions of the country (the outer dots), and how one region's tactics, strategies, and modes of operation (the lines) may be different than another's based on the needs for that particular region, but still ultimately reach the same goals (the central dot), within the same unifying idea (the circle).
One of the many memes the movement intends on using to force Twitter to trend the hashtag #FindTheCo...
One of the many memes the movement intends on using to force Twitter to trend the hashtag #FindTheCommonGround
Common Ground Movement
At the local level, there are Common Ground teams being set up in cities all across the US. These teams have their finger on the pulse of their cities. They know what organizations are involved with which causes, and the best point of contact for each. They are showing up to rallies/marches and being put to work as volunteers. They assist with the organizing and logistics of events. As a CGM Team, it is their duty to be the "facilitators" and "connectors" between each of these organizations.
As long as the organization resonates with the CGM ideas and the Rules of Engagement, then we want to do everything in our power to make their event/march/rally a complete success. Whether it’s handing out flyers and promotion, showing up and volunteering for a few hours, or just being another warm body to hold a sign for a cause, the CGM Teams are the lines, the organizations are the dots, and the Common Ground is the circle unifying them all together.
At the individual level, and this is arguably the most important; not everyone will join a CGM Team, but this is the level that everyone must agree to if we are to effect permanent change on a massive scale, it is about you being those outer dots, and coming together with people of different ideologies, beliefs, backgrounds, and thought processes under a Common Ground banner based on the CGM Principles. All of the other divisive stuff can be sorted out later, because right now we have bigger problems to solve.
What other organizations or groups do they belong to? (Answered by Wil Brown)
Activists involved in The Common Ground Movement come from organizations that vary in ideologies. These groups range from indefinite detention, GMOs, the TPP, internet censorship, alternative media, etcetera.
How do you hope to unite all of the various activists? (Answered by Wil Brown)
The CGM is already uniting these organizations under a banner of waging non violent struggle against a common enemy. In 2013, adhering to the Rules of Engagement: stick to non-violent tactics, don't inject wedge issues, no targeting groups or individuals based on race, religion, etcetera; we were able to rally thousands of people from both the left and the right in a matter of a few days against the Syrian war. The mainstream media claimed that the war was put on hold due to Russia's diplomacy, but the reality of the matter is that the U.S. government didn't want to acknowledge that they were losing control of the population.
Is there a unifying ideology? (Answered by Justin Breen)
The unifying ideology behind the CGM is there is no way that anyone is going to convince everyone else to accept one unified belief system. Liberals will never convert the conservatives, and the conservatives will never convert the liberals. We're never going to all agree on the wedge issues, and it's not even realistic to expect that people will learn to discuss these topics in a calm, rational manner any time soon. Therefore the only way that we can hope to unify in the face of a common threat is to bring it down to the lowest common denominator of what we can all agree on.
What do you hope to accomplish with the twitterstorm tonight? (Answered by Justin Breen)
The twitterstorm tonight is designed to raise awareness for the CGM and get people thinking about why we need to find the Common Ground in the coming year.
Are there more projects coming up? (Answered by Wil Brown)
Yes, CGM is launching an Op campaign beginning with the Twitterstorm tonight that will continue throughout the year and will progressively get more in depth as we accomplish each Op. All of these Ops are leading up to a Common Ground March that will take place sometime late this year. People and groups from across all ideologies that agree to the three unifying ideas and adhere to the three rules of engagement will come out and show solidarity to the rest world against the common enemy. This will be the march that those who may agree with the cause, but are waiting for a substantial, unifying grass roots movement, are able to support.
Do you have anything you want to tell the readers? (Answered by Justin Breen)
Stop by the Common Ground Movement Facebook page to get more involved, as well as The Activism Exchange, where activists are meeting up to discuss outside the box ideas and calls to action.
There are many projects in the works, but the most substantial is the CGM Starter Packet. This CGM Activist Packet is an ever evolving document that is updated periodically with fresh graphics, literature, videos, and tactics for use in the movement. Inside, there are several folders designed to help someone start a local Common Ground Group in their area including contact information for their Regional CGM Director. When activists stop by the Common Ground Movement website and sign up for notifications, they will be given a link to download the packet. We encourage people to distribute the packet far and wide; to friends and family, on the street and door to door, on torrent sites, to military personnel via care packages, and in Dead Drops.
Another interesting campaign coming up is the Common Ground Thunder Clap. Thunderclap is a way to launch coordinated viral message campaigns. That campaign is launching in a few days for people to "donate their social media page" at a specific time and Thunderclap launches the campaign across all of the social media outlets simultaneously.
We look forward to working with many organizations and people from all walks of life and know that 2014 will be the year for real change.
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