In explaining http://www.bostonreview.net/BR36.6/alasdair_roberts_occupy_movement_crowd_control.php how police power tames OWS, Boston Review notes that "while the game is difficult for both sides, it is hardly an equal contest. If local authorities want to shut down a protest, they can do so decisively." The piece also stresses that "Police departments in those cities that still tolerate Occupy protests maintain that they are struggling to balance the right of free speech with the need to protect public order. Fair enough, but the question is how the balance is struck:"
A mob, the nineteenth-century sociologists told us, is rootless, anonymous, and disorganized. The Occupy protests hardly qualify as mobs by these standards. How could they, when their members are camped on the same site for weeks? Mobs are also supposed to be fickle and irrational. They don't hold community meetings with complex procedures every evening. They don't set up libraries. They don't adopt policies promising "zero tolerance" of violence, verbal abuse, and alcohol consumption. They don't establish working groups to organize sanitation, maintain Internet infrastructure, and manage community relations. Occupy Wall Street even has a group to "increase the efficiency and effectiveness" of its other groups--a sort of internal management consultancy.
The Occupy movement is the antithesis of a mob.
One tactic is to occupy the home of a family facing eviction, in the hopes that media attention will encourage the bank to rethink whether the homeowners have exhausted their options after all. Another, more radical action is to take over a vacant property, co-opting it for use by a family that's already homeless (or by occupiers).
Do cops want to get violent over things like that? I guess we'll find out.