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Tea Party vs. Coffee Party: Are Angry Protests OK?

The Coffee Party may have started as a reaction to the Tea Party, but the two movements share common goals, representatives of both groups said today on "Washington Unplugged." They can even agree that a little shouting every now and then is tolerable.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Tea Partiers gathered on Capitol Hill yesterday in a demonstration, dubbed "Code Red," against health care.

"The reason they're really here is because they're frustrated, they feel like they're not being listened to," Tea Party co-chair Mark Meckler told moderator John Dickerson.

Alan Alborn, a spokesperson for the Coffee Party, said that his movement similarly feels "we're not being heard, we're under-represented, and we don't have an outlet to share our issues." And while the Coffee Party may seem like a "liberal" version of the Tea Party, "the fact is, everybody's welcome," said Alborn, who identifies as a fiscally conservative independent.

The Coffee Party, however, is attempting to address national concerns with less of the anger that has tinged Tea Party rallies. At yesterday's "Code Red" rally, for instance, there was a loud confrontation between congressional staffers and protesters outside the office of Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

"As someone who could've been a member of the Tea Party, I'll admit the media attention on those types of events turns people like me off," Alborn said. "I'm not a shouter, I'm not a funny hat or sign guy. That's one of the reasons I joined the Coffee Party."

Still, he said, "While I may not be someone who gets out like that with a sign, I respect the fact that they care enough to do that."

Meckler said the incident outside of Connolly's office was not representative of yesterday's events and that he visited more than a dozen congressional offices with no problems.

"We encourage everybody to be calm and respectable," he said. "That's the only way we can have valuable dialogue in a democracy."

Is the "Coffee Party" the Next Big Thing?

"We're focused on obeying the law and being nonviolent," added Tea Party co-chair Jenny Beth Martin. "Loud voices don't necessarily mean anything but 'listen to me.'"

Watch the full exchange above, as well as a preview of CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson's CBS Evening News report on the so-called "Slaughter rule," and a report from CBS News' Kaylee Hartung on the State Department's use of technology.

"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.