NEW YORK — By now, you've heard about Occupy Wall Street, the demonstration that began September 17 in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park. The demonstration has been both lauded and laughed at, and it has continued to grow and spread to several cities across the globe.
The movement has made waves throughout the media and caught the attention of several politicians, celebrities and CEOs, including David Banner. MTV News followed the Mississippi rapper down to the park — now dubbed "Liberty Park" — last week. He said he was proud to see Americans standing up for themselves, because he's always worked for the upward mobility of people. He also drew a parallel between America's current economic struggles and the fallen music industry.
"You watched in the same way that the middle class is being evaporated; you don't have those 250,000 to 650,000 artists anymore," Banner said. "You['re] either selling 15,000 records, 20,000 records or you selling a million records. So the middle class in entertainment is going the same way the middle class in America is going."
One of Banner's main goals was to present the side of the people. He said he's noticed some Republican leaders speaking disrespectfully about the protesters, as well as about the general public.
"I hear comments like, they need to work hard or they need to take baths. Like, dude, why would you even say that about your people? Regardless of whether we agree with each other or not, we're all American," Banner said. "This is even our opportunity to show the side of the people, to allow people to really talk, especially the young people."
Another of Banner's goals was making sure people's goals were expressed. He worried that the power of the movement could be watered down because it's faceless. There are consequences to having leaders and goals, but at least everyone would know exactly what they were out there for. When Banner talked to a few of the demonstrators, he didn't find one common thread, but he said he was motivated by their willingness to take a stand.
"It's bad that it takes pain to unite people, but [it's good] to see people from all walks of life, all colors, all creeds come together to try to make something happen."
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