The Occupy Wall Street protest got a shot of celebrity glitz Monday when Kanye West and Russell Simmons stopped by.
They caused a brief frenzy in the crowd of protesters before Simmons went to appear on Al Sharpton’s radio show and West took off.
“I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd,” Simmons tweeted about West.
On Sharpton’s show, which was being broadcast from the sunny park, Simmons said that as a member of the wealthy “1%,” he is willing to pay more taxes.
“I’m happy to pay a little more taxes if it means better education for our children,” he said. “I don’t pay enough taxes and I know it.”
He said it shouldn’t just be him, though.
“I want to write a check when everybody else does,” he said.
The hip hop mogul – whose work often glorifies wealth and conspicuous consumption – praised the protesters who have camped out in Zuccotti Park for 24 days.
“People are here with an honest heart and honest intentions,” Simmons said. “These young people are our future leaders.
Civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory also took a seat by Sharpton at the radio table amid the sea of mostly white protesters.
He said he’d come to “to lend my service and help myself. This one might bring the country down. It’s gonna change, or it’s gonna fall.”
Harlem Rep. Charlie Rangel also stopped by to appear on Sharpton’s show.
“The whole Congress is responsible,” he told a caller. “Give America back to the 99 percent.”
Sharpton told listeners he plans to organize a contingent of ministers to stay overnight in the park with protesters.
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