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Cornel West Visits Wall Street Protesters

By Ben Fractenberg | September 27, 2011 9:11pm

DOWNTOWN — Ivy League professor and civil-rights activist Cornel West became the most recent high-profile name to visit protesters in lower Manhattan during their 11th day of demonstrations against Wall Street financial institutions.

The Princeton professor and social critic stopped by Zuccotti Park Tuesday to show support for the protest, meeting with hundreds of demonstrators at what has become home base for the movement.

"I hope you can feel the love and inspiration from everyday people who take a stand with great courage and compassion, because we deplore the greed of Wall Street oligarchs, corporate plutocrats, who squeeze the democratic juices out of this country and other places around the world," West told the crowd.

 "I am so blessed to be here."

 The demonstrators got a boost when filmmaker Michael Moore paid a visit on Monday evening, and Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon also came by Tuesday to encourage the crowd.

The daily demonstrations, dubbed “Occupy Wall Street,” have led to clashes with police, resulting in about 80 arrests over the weekend.

Protesters called West’s visit inspiring to their cause.

"It's uplifting. It's moral support," said a 35-year-old demonstrator, who declined to give her name.

"We are here to hear the ideas and expressions of everybody," added Matthew, 28, who has been camping out in the park since Friday.