Although advocating a peaceful demonstration from the start, the “Occupy Wall Street” protest has had substantial friction with the NYPD, with 100 arrests as of Friday.
Protestors have attempted to change the violent sentiment that has overtaken the protest.
They began Friday morning by practicing yoga at Zuccotti Park, in New York City, and Russell Simons, American business magnate, joined the protestors in their calming approach – supplying them with bottles of water and moral support.
Various YouTube videos of questionable police brutality have gone viral on the Internet and an online hunt has begun for those guilty of the unwanted force.
The most popular video involves a group of young women corralled into orange police barricades, not appearing to resist the confinement.
An older police officer, recently identified as Anthony Bologna, walked up to three of the cornered women; pepper sprayed them in a sweeping arm motion, and then re-holstered his pepper spray canister and calmly walked away.
“I couldn’t get away,” Johanne Sterling, one of victims pepper sprayed, previously told The Christian Post.
“I couldn’t breathe. My face was burning,” she said.
One photographer took multiple shots of Bologna, including one of his police badge. After posting these photos online, Bologna was identified anonymously.
"Sometimes bad things end up with good results. [The video] got the movement more publicity and brought attention that there were amendment issues going on," Elisa, a protestor from New Orleans who refrained from providing her last name due to confidentiality, told CP.
Bologna has a history of excessive force, and is currently being investigated for his involvement at Wall Street.
At the 2004 Republican convention, he is accused of false arrest and breaking civil rights laws. Bologna and his family have received extra police protection after his face was identified on the pepper spray video.
"I think it was really important to show the world that we were completely committed to nonviolence," said protestor Alexander Holmes of San Francisco. Holmes has been present at the protest since day one, and has only missed four days.
"The video showed the face of an officer acting as an individual, but it also showed footage of police officers acting responsibly," said Holmes.
Another video involves a police officer directing a shirtless protester to the ground and applying a firm knee to his throat. Protestors are also questioning the legitimacy of this force, because the protestor was not demonstrating physical aggression towards the police.
On Friday morning, protestors formed circles in Zuccotti Square to attend workshops on how to protest peacefully, including advice on how to hold one's hands when being arrested and how to establish your rights.
"The last couple of days the police have behaved very well and they have allowed us to express ourselves," Adam Aguglia of Rochester, NY, told CP.
The “Occupy Wall Street” protest enters its 14th day today. Although numbers have dwindled from 600 to 100, protestors hope to stay there for “a few months.” Currently, the activists are questioning whether they will remain in the Financial District during winter.
Below are videos from the “Occupy Wall Street Protest.”
Video of female protestors being pepper sprayed:
Video of protestor receiving knee to throat: