A small cadre of people held vigil over a section of grass outside Sacramento's historic City Hall on Tuesday.
They came with few of the trappings of the Occupy Sacramento movement. No tents. No drum circles. Just a few guys in lawn chairs armed with a stack of freshly printed pamphlets who say they are fighting for the little guy.
"We are definitely in our second phase," said Steven "Joe" Carter, who gained local notoriety last month for "evading arrest" by sitting in a tree in Cesar Chavez Plaza for more than 24 hours. Carter eventually came down voluntarily and was arrested on suspicion of violating the city's curfew ordinance.
While Carter stopped short of saying Occupy Sacramento won't test the ordinance at the park again, the local Occupy movement is looking for other ways to draw attention to its causes.
"You might start seeing us popping up at other places around town," Carter said. There was general talk of getting involved with a Martin Luther King Jr. event, but that idea had yet to be formally approved.
The shift in strategy marks a turning point for the Occupy movement in Sacramento, where police have arrested 110 protesters whose efforts to protest at Cesar Chavez Plaza around the clock ran afoul of City Hall's anti-camping and park curfew ordinances.
Edward Inch, dean of the College of Art and Letters at California State University, Sacramento, said weather, the holidays and police work seem to have sapped energy from the movement.
"The movement seems a little bit deflated," said Inch, who did his master's work studying protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
Outside of the UC Davis pepper-spray incident and a few others, he said, the Occupy protesters failed in their attempts to bait the police into an overreaction that would help galvanize the movement.
"The cities did a very good job of not escalating confrontations," Inch said.
While the number of Occupy protesters in Sacramento has dwindled from hundreds to dozens on a good day, the group said they will continue to hold general assembly meetings Wednesdays and Saturdays in Cesar Chavez Plaza. They also are still holding educational "teach-ins."
Things are equally uncertain at UC Davis, where the campus police's pepper-spraying of students put the university on the national radar.
"We will have a presence on the campus," said UC Davis student Eric Lee, though the campus' tent city was voluntarily taken down before winter break.
Lee said it's hard to tell how many people will be in the quad school is a week away but students still have plenty to be angry about. He predicted another student fee hike.
"This movement isn't going away," Lee said.
Inch predicted that groups will attempt to reoccupy city squares, but he said their best move might come though more mainstream political expression.
"You might see them move more into a political realm," Inch said. "This is a chance for the protest movement, city by city, to focus on local and regional races."