By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2011, 10:17pm PT  

On Sunday afternoon I found myself in a spirited Twitter debate about Occupy Wall Street, its effectiveness as a movement and, of most interest to me, the First Amendment rights of the Occupations around the country as the attempts to evict the Occupiers, by local mayors and police departments in a number of cities have been slowly, but surely, ramping up over the last several days and weeks.

This particular debate was not of the sort you're likely to see in the MSM, in that it didn't include any Rightwingers and their fake arguments. (If you're interested in one of those debates, see my radio debate with a RWer last week here.) It included a few self-identified progressives, a few self-identified Democrats and Obama supporters (who do not necessarily consider themselves progressives, and often view them with scorn), and a few attorneys. None of the participants were Republicans or Tea Baggers...

This was a Twitter debate and while I've done my best to put things in order here, it can be difficult to read, at times, for those not familiar with how Twitter works --- particularly as several of us were replying to each other at the same time that other replies were occurring to earlier points. So you'll have to do your best to make sense of things, but hopefully it's not all that difficult.

As messy as it is, just like democracy, it's a discussion worth having and one, as I say, not had, in general, in the MSM. So I thought I'd post it here and welcome your thoughts, observations and additional debate in comments.

To set the stage, the participants here include @AngryBlackLady, @DCPlod and, occassionally, @SheriffFruitfly (all ardent supporters of President Obama), as well as @MSBellows (late in the conversation) and myself (@TheBradBlog).

Both @AngryBlackLady (did I mention she's an ardent O supporter?) and @MSBellows (an occasional BRAD BLOG commenter) are attorneys. I am not.

I don't know @DCPlod, other than she identifies herself in her Twitter profile as "Liberal" and a "political junkie". @SherrifFruitfly is...well...a supporter of @AngryBlackLady's. I'll let his tweets speak for him beyond that.

The first few tweets, mine, help to set the stage today, though they were written a bit earlier this morning and the tweets that followed from the others were not in direct response to them. A little later then, you'll see that I jumped into a conversation between @AngryBlackLady and @DCPlod about the First Amendment rights of the Occupiers and things took off --- for good or bad --- from there...