Occupy Wall Street hit the streets of New York this past week to speak out against corporate greed. On Saturday, over 80 activists were arrested as the protest became a heated affair against "THE MAN!"
As I reported in Know Your Cell, what started as a peaceful demonstration--in opposition to large corporations--turned violent as the New York Police Department used Tasers and mace to control the crowd of protesters who gathered in Manhattan's Union Square. The police claimed the arrests were made due to disorderly conduct and obstructing vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The demonstrators said that the NYPD used excessive force and drove the protesters into the Manhattan gutters. (Know what would make me disorderly? Being maced in THE FACE!)
Citizen journalism was a key factor in showing exactly what happened. Participants and observers, armed with cell phone cameras, captured footage of the arrests and quickly uploaded it to YouTube. With the Occupy Wall Street demonstration growing after the arrests on Saturday, Twitter feeds keep people updated on the latest action, such as:
Occupy Wall Street activists name officer over pepper spray incident - goo.gl/c6MXk
The @OccupyWallStreet protest after 10 days has grown. A few pictures I took in the park where they have set up camp. bit.ly/nq6ZEU
If you haven't seen these yet: 32 Pictures Of Police Brutality From #OccupyWallStreet Protests bzfd.it/qbcqsX
Twitter also helps to keep San Francisco writers in touch with the people who are on the front lines. Ryan Hoffman, who goes by the Twitter handle, @NewYorkCreator, said he used a Motorola Droid X to document Occupy Wall Steet:
"It is the phone given to me by my work but I also use for personal reasons. I've used it to take a few photos but mostly in outdoor spaces and the resolution is fuzzy," he said via email. "It has allowed me however, a chance to unify the Internet community through live tweeting my experiences about Occupy Wall Street. I personally increased my follower network by about 50 percent."
As the Occupy Wall Street protest continues in New York, hopefully the police violence has simmered down. Otherwise, if you're going to NY to show your support for the demonstration, be sure to wear protective hockey gear or a reinforced gutter guard!
Read the rest of the Occupy Wall Street story by clicking to Know Your Cell
Follow Harmon Leon on Twitter: www.twitter.com/harmonleon