Is it time for the Occupiers to go home?

Now that they've gotten the public's attention, the protesters may be more effective organizing from behind computers than out in the streets.

Mary Altaffer/AP
Occupy Wall Street protesters are pushed by police near the encampment at Zuccotti Park in New York, early Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. Brown argues that at this stage, protesters might be more effective working at home, rather than in the streets.

It may be time for the Occupiers to go home.

I'd argue that they could be more effective organizing from behind computers than out in the streets at this stage in the game. The park's occupation has made its point and gotten the world's attention - but now the movement feels somewhat stunted.  And between riots in Oaktown, the homeless colonizers in Portland and the rapes here in lower Manhattan, this messy extended stay is not exactly earning the movement new adherents from the middle class (which should be a primary goal).  It is turning people off that could otherwise be convinced of the righteousness of the Occupy cause.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg finally gave the order as did police chiefs and mayors in several other cities last night...

From Bloomberg (just a coincidence):

New York City police in riot gear swept into a Lower Manhattan park to remove Occupy Wall Street protesters early today following similar moves that shut down camps in Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon.

Demonstrators “should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office said today on its Twitter feed. “Protesters can return after the park is cleared.”

Hundreds of protesters have slept in tents and under tarps since Sept. 17 in Zuccotti Park, which was both the birthplace of the protests against economic inequality and the physical symbol of the movement. The police operation came after organizers announced plans to mark the two-month anniversary of the movement this week with plans to “shut down Wall Street” and “occupy the subways.”

More to come...

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