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Kanye West joins Russell Simmons at Occupy Wall Street protest

Outspoken rapper Kanye West became the latest celebrity to show support to activists protesting against big business at New York's Occupy Wall Street initiative by joining hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons on the front line on Monday (10Oct11).

Kanye West briefly joined the protest in Zucotti Park alongside Simmons, who has made regular appearances among the demonstrators.

The rap mogul later tweeted, "I just walked @kanyewest thru the #occupywallstreet. I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd."

But Kanye West could not stay long - he was forced to leave when a mob of fans surrounded him.

Fellow rapper Talib Kweli, former couple Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon and documentary maker Michael Moore have thrown their support behind the cause by showing up to meet with initiative leaders.

The Occupy Wall Street campaign, which began three weeks ago in New York, has now spread to 72 cities across the country.

Most protesters have been left unemployed and homeless by the recession and subsequent economic downturn.