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Kanye West visits Occupy Wall Street protests

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Kanye West
Andrew Burton/AP Images

Depending on which side of the political spectrum you fall on, Occupy Wall Street is either a futile attempt for progress made by smelly hippies or a much-needed democracy-in-action movement that speaks to the struggling working class. Bonus incentive if you fall on the latter: There are celebrities galore!

On Monday, Kanye West joined the growing list of stars who have visited the protesters who have been making their point(s) in downtown Manhattan for about three weeks. West was accompanied by Russell Simmons, who tweeted after the experience, “I just walked @kanyewest thru the #occupywallstreet. I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd.” (It’s pretty fair to say that Geraldo Rivera didn’t get quite the same reception when he visited the area.) Simmons, who posted photos of their visit on Twitter, wrote on Tuesday morning, “This morning I applaud @kanyewest for using his celebrity to help others His appearance yesterday mattered!! #occupywallstreet.” Yes, citizens, thank goodness for Kanye!

But West and Simmons are hardly the first celebrities to show their support for those on the frontlines of the protests. Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, and Roseanne Barr have all made their way to the site, while Alec Baldwin, Jane Fonda and Yoko Ono have all expressed their support. During a recent segment on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart went on the defense for Occupy Wall Street-ers, or more accurately, their equally vocal critics.

Additionally, Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum made April Ludgate protestors happy when he paid a visit and performed last Wednesday. (The singer told those involved, “You guys have done a beautiful f—ing thing.”) The next day Talib Kweli also performed for Occupy Wall Street, alerting followers via Twitter, “Pulling up on #occupywallstreet liberty and broadway. Now this is the New York City I love.”

What do you think of celebrities making personal visits in support of Occupy Wall Street, PopWatchers? Does it reek of self-promotion? Which star do you think will show up in downtown Manhattan next? Share in the comments section below.

Read more:

Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum performs for Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street protest boasts visits from Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon

Jon Stewart takes on Occupy Wall Street critics: Watch!