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Second act for Occupy Wall Street: Is it time to come in from the cold?

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Mr. Lafferty, who has helped Occupy Los Angeles protesters look for indoor space, is now aiding the group to form a nonprofit foundation because, as Lafferty points out, “the city has arrangements with other nonprofits to lease space for as little as a dollar a year.”

While some activists are holding firm to the importance of the open-air style of protests, Occupy groups in other cities have already moved ahead with plans to move from the streets to the indoors. Detroit protesters told the Detroit Free Press this week that they have secured a building in southwest Detroit and have plans to decamp there to organize for the winter, “and come back stronger in the spring.”   

This is the advice Adbusters posted on its website earlier this week, counseling activists to pack up on Dec. 17, the three-month anniversary of the original Wall Street occupation. Kalle Lasn, the Estonian founder of the Canadian-based Adbusters, urged protesters to come inside and “use the winter to brainstorm, network, build momentum so that we may emerge rejuvenated with fresh tactics, philosophies, and a myriad projects ready to rumble next Spring.”

Critics suggest that the evictions signal something different. “It doesn't matter where Occupy Wall Street conducts its protest. The movement is not destined to fail. It has failed already,” says Mario Almonte, PR strategist and blogger for the Huffington Post, via email. “OWS is like an underpowered rocket that can't seem to clear the atmosphere and break free of earth's gravitational pull to accomplish its mission. The problem doesn't lie in the message, which very few Americans disagree with. The problem lies in their method.”  

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