OSCAR-winning actress Susan Sarandon is adding her support to a new protest - she wants to repeal New York's tough drug laws.

The screen star - who faced a backlash for her anti-war stance - is among a long list of stars who are joining Russell Simmons and the HIP-HOP SUMMIT ACTION NETWORK and MOTHERS OF THE NY DISAPPEARED to build a national coalition to demand the immediate repeal of the 30-year-old ROCKEFELLER DRUG LAWS.

These require mandatory lengthy prison terms - up to 15 years to life - for possession or sale of drugs, regardless of the amount.

Def Jam boss Simmons says, "The COUNTDOWN TO FAIRNESS represents the broadest coalition ever assembled on this important issue. The hip-hop community's active involvement will help... state officials to see and feel the will of the people as we demand the repeal of these wack laws."

Sarandon notes of the hip-hop element in the ongoing battle, "It seems to have more energy. Whenever you can draw on a broadbased coalition, it can help, and I think that it's been infused with a new energy that'll be very constructive."

SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS, Jay-Z, Nas, REVEREND RUN, Irv Gotti, DOUG E FRESH, Ludacris, RED MAN, Method Man and Keith Murray are among those who have pledged support for the move and are now reportedly doing public service announcements for radio and television on this issue.

14/05/2003 09:28