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NOTEABLE READ: Russell Simmons Sits w/ Billboard.biz

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Billboard.biz: You’ve obviously been very active and supportive of the Occupy Wall Street protest. Yet you’re part of the 1%. So why do you feel compelled to speak out in support of the 99%?

Russell Simmons: I’m not part of the 1%. I’m part of the 100%. Why should I be separated from the people who are protesting? It’s crazy. Is it okay to run a charity and give to the least fortunate people in the world, to promote well being and health for them, but then not be able to identify with their suffering or to not show solidarity with them? Why does anybody care? Why did Ali help stop the war [in Vietnam]? Why did Harry Belafonte help Dr. King? In every struggle, somebody who has some resources adds to the people who are doing the hard work.

I’m there because I believe in what they’re doing, and I believe what they’re doing is educating America on why economic inequality exists the way it does. And it’s kind of disingenuous when the media keeps saying they don’t know what they want. The number one thing they want is to control their government. When they elect an official, they want that official to work for them and not for corporations. So when we occupy Washington and we occupy Wall Street and we make the statements we make, it’s crystal clear that we need politicians to write legislation and probably a Constitutional amendment banning the kind of lobbying that we have.

If you’re a major company, of course you have to have a dialogue with government officials so they don’t legislate around you and ruin your business. They have to understand your business, but you can’t send them a check. You can’t be like…

Billboard (Whole Article)

Written by One

November 18, 2011 at 4:23 AM

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