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Protesters in New York have received encouragement from a number of celebrities who support their ongoing occupation of Wall Street.

On Monday night, filmmaker Michael Moore and rapper Immortal Technique showed up at Zuccotti Park to express their solidarity with the protesters.

Moore told the crowd, “I’m so impressed by what I’m seeing here.”

Michael Moore addresses Occupy Wall Street protestors
Michael Moore addresses Occupy Wall Street protestors

Yesterday actress Susan Sarandon stopped by to talk to protesters on her way to the airport, saying, “I’m just here to be educated.”

No stranger to protests, Sarandon was herself arrested in 1999 at a New York rally criticising the Police Department for the killing of Amadou Diallo.

Susan Sarandon with Occupy Wall Street protestors
Susan Sarandon with Occupy Wall Street protestors

The protests center around the lack of regulation of corporations, and US goverment policies unfairly favouring businesses and the wealthy at the expense of the working and middle classes. Those attending the protests hope to encourage politicians to enact policies that will reduce the growing income disparity between the rich and poor.

Princeton professor Cornel West, who also visited the protests yesterday, recently told MSNBC:

“The top 10 percent got 100 percent of income growth. That’s pathological. You can’t sustain a democracy when you have that kind of wealth inequality.”

Prof. Cornel West at the Occupy Wall St protests
Prof. Cornel West at the Occupy Wall St protests

Some protesters have complained of excessive force on the part of law enforcement personnel, but arrests have been made for non-violent technical offences such as wearing masks and writing on sidewalks in chalk.

A week ago, Roseanne Barr addressed campaigners, concurring that, “We’re all royally screwed.”

“We’re asking the police and the people in the military to join us, because we’re on the same side against the same people. Same hands, same people.”

Philosopher Noam Chomsky separately expressed his support for the protests in an email to the organisers:

“Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest increasingly become what is sometimes called “a precariat” — seeking to survive in a precarious existence. They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also “too big to jail.”

“The courageous and honorable protests underway in Wall Street should serve to bring this calamity to public attention, and to lead to dedicated efforts to overcome it and set the society on a more healthy course.”

To read more about the protests, visit OccupyWallSt.org.

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