He said the movement's tactic of occupying spaces in cities is unsustainable, so it must focus on legal tactics such as lobbying, involvement in elections, legal marches and testifying before Congress. "Making this shift will be tricky, if not impossible, because most of the core members have disavowed these tactics for ideological reasons," Heaney said.
Indeed, in Oakland — the scene of the most violent clashes involving police and protesters — Iris Arcenciel, 26, said civil disobedience doesn't mesh with taking direction from city leaders about how and where to protest.
"The important thing to remember is civil disobedience," she said as Occupy Oakland supporters gathered to plan their next steps after their camp outside City Hall was cleared before dawn Monday. "That camp in front of City Hall makes a much larger statement than appeasing City Hall."
Oakland's exhausted mayor, Jean Quan, acknowledged the challenges ahead as both sides try to gain the upper hand. "If you look across the country, we even know that we may have to go and move the encampments again," she said. "This is an international and national movement. This is their tactic."
Bray said that protesters in New York had been holding secret meetings to discuss where they might move their occupation, given the new rules in Zuccotti Park. As the plaza reopened, police checked to make sure people weren't carrying tents, but by 7 p.m. it was once again packed with people milling about and discussing where to spend the night.
"The place was taken from us, but the spirit was still there," said Gayle Price, 46, who said the movement was about more than Zuccotti Park. "Something about not being attached to a place — this will shake the movement up and be positive and bring in new people. We just have to figure out how to keep warm."
PHOTOS: Police clear out Zuccotti Park
Times staff writers Kim Murphy in Seattle, Lee Romney in Oakland and Kate Linthicum in Los Angeles; Alexa Vaughn in the Washington bureau; and Dawn Rhodes of the Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.