Nov. 16, 2011 — -- The Occupy Wall Street protests seem to have entered a new phase as officials in several cities moved to curtail the "occupy" part of the movement with bans on overnight camping.
In New York City, the Occupy Wall Street headquarters at Zuccotti Park thinned considerably overnight after a judge ruled that the ejected protesters could return but without their camping equipment and tarps. Police even stopped people from bringing blankets into the lower Manhattan park. About 25 protesters stayed in the park overnight, but they were outnumbered by police and sanitation workers, WABC-TV reported.
Oakland and Berkeley, Calif., officials have enforced similar bans on overnight stays in Occupy-favored spots.
The movement's leaders have defiantly said they are strategizing their next move.
"This is going to make us stronger. We're going to regroup," said Pete Dutro, a member of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) finance committee.
Dutro said the eviction catalyzed other groups to support OWS.
"The unions are mobilizing people inside the community," he said.
And next up? Religious groups.
"We're really going to put pressure on communities of faith," Dutro said. "We already have members of clergy behind us."
Dutro and other active members have said they are not deterred by the eviction early Tuesday morning.
"We're not going anywhere. They just made this worse," he said. "This is just a symbolic center, as is Oakland. Each time they do these things, it localizes the movement more. If they had half a brain they wound have let us stay here."
Dutro said the eviction was "not American."
"They threw away our books, hit women, trampled our American flag. No one was fighting them. The live stream clearly shows that," he said.
Dutro said he and others in the movement were "negotiating for other spaces." Nearby Judson Memorial Church had opened its doors before dawn on Tuesday to allow evicted protesters to get some sleep on a carpeted floor.
Nereida Chico, 28, said she slept for an hour before returning to the park.
"I'm tired but I'm not going anywhere," she said.
However, some protesters are trying to move on.
Tiffany Rose, 27, her husband and friend want to collect enough money for bus fare to join the Occupy DC protest.
"It doesn't look good and we still want to support the cause though. That's why we're going to go south," Rose said. "It's going to be warmer and maybe we can make a stronghold there. Maybe we can use what happened here to help other people there."
While the past three days have been unseasonably warm for November in New York City -- lingering in the 60s -- the temperature is forecasted to reach a low of 33 degrees on Thursday.
Rose, previously a Texas resident, spent 44 days protesting in New York City. She and her husband visited protests in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. before that. She said there were "definitely" people who are planning to protest in other cities.
Meanwhile, protesters have lingered in other public spaces in New York City such as Foley Square.
When asked what she will do if police in the nation's capital shut down protests there, Rose said she will have to "see what happens."
"All these people are here for a reason and even if we're scared off, all the things we learned here we're going to take with us everywhere we go," she said. "And it's going to make a difference."
Rose said people loved the community that protesters built in Zuccotti Park, but now it looked "so sterile."
"People loved it. It wasn't just for us," she said.