When the Occupy Wall Street movement came to Austin four months ago, there was a big party. About 1,300 people gathered at City Hall for a celebration with live music. Protesters posed for pictures with smiling police officers.

But Friday night, in a sign of the protest movement's burgeoning identity crisis, police moved in and dismantled the Occupy Austin encampment at City Hall. The city said it no longer could afford the cost of police overtime and site maintenance.

It was a week when authorities across the nation took similar action, from McPherson Square in Washington, D.C., to Thomas Square in Honolulu. It raised once again the question of whether the Occupy movement has a future, and if so, what kind.

Some say Occupy has only a past, however glorious. "They provided a major issue in the presidential election" - income inequality, political scientist Terry Madonna says. "But the movement itself is on life support and unlikely to continue."

His diagnosis is familiar: no leaders, no agenda and, increasingly, no place to hang its hat.

Some also question Occupy's impact. A national survey released last week by researchers at the University of Delaware found that almost one in five Americans still say they've heard nothing about the movement and that a third of those who have can't identify its main message - that too few control too much of the nation's wealth and political power.

Some Occupy groups, including those in New York and South Florida, have shifted their focus to specific causes such as helping foreclosure victims. But it's unclear whether the disappearance of local camps will deprive the movement of media attention.

In the past week:
  • Honolulu officials told protesters they no longer could store their belongings in Thomas Square Park because of a new law. After issuing 31 citations, police officers moved in Thursday, making one arrest.
  • Saying that a protest had become a public nuisance, U.S. Park Police swept through the Occupy D.C. encampment in McPherson Square, hauling away bedding and clothing. More than 100 officers cleared the square, two blocks from the White House, early Saturday after warning earlier that camping there was illegal. At least 11 people were arrested. One was charged with felony assault on a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon, a brick.
  • Occupy Maine protesters began vacating a park in Portland after being told to remove tents and personal belongings. On Saturday, some protesters took down a communal warming hut, packed up sleeping pallets and disposed of debris.