Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City remained in their tents overnight despite snowstorm and low temperatures which plunged below 40 degrees F.
In the footage from thermal imaging cameras taken late on Friday night in New York, the presence of body heat from humans is represented by yellow and red inside the tents.
On Friday, NYC authorities took away the generators they were using to keep warm and power electronic devices.
According to an Occupy Wall Street spokesman, this was “a pretext to make the protest less sustainable and more difficult for us”. But authorities insisted they had to remove the equipment for safety reasons.
A blanket of cold air that brought the first flurries of the season to Colorado on Wednesday is continuing to spread south and east, bringing the lowest temperatures to the Northeast since spring.
The unusually early snow is bad news for those camping in city centres across the country, as critics speculate that the days of the Occupy movement may now be numbered.
It was reported that several Occupy Denver protesters had to be taken to hospital on Thursday night to be treated for hypothermia.
Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have erected tents and tarpaulins over parts of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, but appeared to be failing in their battle to keep warm and dry.
It seems that authorities will welcome the dramatic weather forecast. Law enforcement officials in some cities such as Oakland, California, have cleared out protests.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there is little he can do about the New York protest until the owners of the park where the camp is located, Brookfield Office Properties, file a complaint.
Meteorologists said that temperatures will plummet with some areas of the north east such as Syracuse reaching lows of 27 at night. In major cities such as New York and Boston overnight temperatures will remain in the 30s.
Snow this heavy this early is highly unusual along and near I-95 in the Northeast. In Philadelphia, the average date for the first accumulating snow is December 18.
Volunteers are being vigilant and do nightly checks for signs of hypothermia among the faithful.
The cold weather will add to the Occupy movement’s existing problems. On Tuesday, police evicted activists in Oakland using used tear gas and stun grenades.
In New York mediation is under way between demonstrators and some of the movement’s musicians, who were drumming up to 10 hours a day.
Protesters staffing the camp’s kitchen, which Occupy Wall Street says feeds up to a 1,000 people daily, have downsized their menu to deter the homeless and freeloaders who have been taking advantage of the hospitality.