Occupy Wall Street is gaining in popularity and in celebrity support. The protests against corporate greed, high unemployment rates, and numerous other social ills have been ongoing since Sept. 17th when a small group of protesters gathered in lower Manhattan. What began as a small gathering has become a much bigger movement with similar protest popping up in cities all over the nation.
An incident last week spawned some support for the protesters after a video went viral of a police officer pepper spraying a group of young, non-violent women who were penned in with orange mesh fencing without provocation. Once the video went viral and larger media outlets became aware that the protesters had no intention of going away any time soon, more people began joining the cause. Although that cause is still unclear.
Protesters joining the Occupy Wall St. movement seem to be protesting everything from global warming to the 2008 corporate bailouts. Signs carried by protesters read, “We are the 99%,” “Wall Street is Our Street,” and “If only the war on poverty was a real war then we would actually be putting money into it.”
The demonstrators have started gathering a wide array of celebrity support for the cause. Celebrity activist Susan Sarandon stopped by to speak with protestors and learn more about the protests. Roseanne Barr, Lupe Fiasco, and Michael Moore also came out to support the efforts of Occupy Wall St. Other celebrities have been using Twitter and blogs to show support of the group that claims to represent 99 percent of the population.
Yoko Ono, known for many things including her activism with John Lennon, wrote on Twitter, “I love #OccupyWallStreet As John said, “One hero cannot do it. Each one of us have to be heroes.” And you are. Thank you. love, yoko.”
Alec Baldwin tweeted the video of women being pepper sprayed saying, “This is unsettling. I think the NYPD has a PR problem.”
Author Salman Rushdie expressed his support of the protests on Twitter, “The world’s economy has been wrecked by these rapacious traders. Yet it is the protesters who are jailed.” He then added, “The thieves are in their palaces, counting their loot. But now the people are hammering at the palace gates.”
Rushdie’s support comes after a massive wave of arrests on the protesters after they attempted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1. Over 400 people were arrested in what some believe was a planned mass arrest by the NYPD.