Then, around midnight on Dec. 3, two women who Occupy organizers said were affiliated with a group of ravers who refer to themselves as "The Underground" got into an argument about a cat that had been neglected. A 23-year-old woman was charged with stabbing another woman during the argument.
Advocates for sexual assault victims had criticized Occupy Baltimore last month for distributing pamphlets that requested anyone attacked immediately contact the group's "security committee" and seemed to discourage involving law enforcement. The guidelines have since revised to say that police investigations are supported.
Still, organizers forged on. At a meeting on Sunday, according to minutes posted on the Occupy website, they moved to form a "general assembly" for regular campers, "granting autonomous authority regarding camp specific decisions."
"GA concluded better accountability and restructuring needed to occur. It was decided this week be used to research alternate structures, allow for more discussion at GA, and Saturday Dec. 17 be the day we come together to share ideas," read a recent update.
The continuing threat of eviction loomed large, prompting several false alarms.
Marshall said he had been at Occupy Baltimore nearly since the beginning but got kicked out a few days ago when he was accused of assaulting someone over a plate of food. He said he was arrested and jailed on an assault charge, and just got out Monday night. "I came down here from jail only to find that a lot more people were going to jail," Marshall said, adding that he left when the police came because, "I don't want to go back."
Eric Lee, 35, said police officers told him that the tents and personal items left behind would be gathered and put in one place for retrieval, either at or near City Hall. But he and others didn't believe it as they saw a line of green trash trucks near the Harbor.
"They came in the middle of the night," Lee said. "They could have thrown us out in the middle of the day."
With Lee was a woman who gave her name as Dice MacKenzie, 20, who had a small cat she took out. But she left behind her inhaler and said police wouldn't let her go back for it. She said she is six months pregnant.
"The police say we'll be able to get our stuff back but look at the dump trucks," MacKenzie said. "The police are lying. They're going to throw everything away. It's 4 in the morning. Where are we going to go? We got kicked out of a public place."
All of the protesters interviewed vowed that the Occupy movement in Baltimore was only ending "phase one." "This is the end of phase one and the beginning of phase two," Clary promised.
Sun reporters Edward Gunts, Alison Knezevich and Jean Marbella contributed to this report.