A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 18, 2021
“When the rich rob the poor, it’s called business. When the poor fight back, it’s called violence”

"When the rich rob the poor, it’s called business. When the poor fight back, it’s called violence” is a saying that has been printed on many images.

“RT @TLW3 When the poor rob the rich, its a punishable crime. when the rich rob the poor, its just business. #p2 #tcot #news” was posted on Twitter by EzKool Media (and others) on June 8, 2011. The original tweet is no longer available. “When the poor rob the rich, it makes the news, but when the rich rob the poor it’s called big business!” was posted on Twitter by Uncle Ja-Ron on July 7, 2011.

“When the rich rob the poor its called business, when the poor fight back it’s called violence” was posted on Twitter by Uzair on September 9, 2011. “When the rich rob the poor it’s called business. When the poor fight back it’s called violence” (also shown on an image) was posted on Twitter by Vodka Soup on September 10, 2011. “Photo: When the rich rob the poor it’s called BUSINE$$… http://tumblr.com/xm14mb89qv” was posted on Twitter by salrojas later on September 10, 2011. The saying probably comes from this image.

The saying was used at the Occupy Wall Street protests in September 2011. “‘When the rich rob the poor, its called business..when the poor fight back its call violence’ #occupywallstreet” was posted on Twitter by HousingisaHumanRight on September 25, 2011. 

“‘When the rich rob the poor, it’s called business. When the poor fight back, it is called violence.’—Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author” was posted on Facebook by The Birds of Paradise on October 8, 2015, as reported in an article on Mark Twain Studies on December 28, 2016. American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens ("Mark Twain") never said it.

“They only call it class war when we fight back” is a related saying.


Twitter
Ruben
@Rubenerd
The term is “bailout” RT @TLW3 When the poor rob the rich, its a punishable crime. when the rich rob the poor, its just business. #p2
6:48 AM · Jun 8, 2011·TweetDeck

Twitter
Dustin
@dustins_awesome
RT @TLW3: When the poor rob the rich, its a punishable crime. when the rich rob the poor, its just business. #p2
8:05 AM · Jun 8, 2011·erased734497

Twitter
EzKool Media
@EzKool
RT @TLW3 When the poor rob the rich, its a punishable crime. when the rich rob the poor, its just business. #p2 #tcot #news
1:24 PM · Jun 8, 2011·TweetDeck

Twitter
Uncle Ja-Ron
@ThatsUncleBlue
When the poor rob the rich, it makes the news, but when the rich rob the poor it’s called big business!
12:27 PM · Jul 7, 2011·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Uzair
@UzairMohammad
When the rich rob the poor its called business, when the poor fight back it’s called violence.
4:21 PM · Sep 9, 2011·TweetDeck

Twitter
Ashley Holmes
@ashlaybabae
“when the rich rob the poor, it’s called busine$s. when the poor fight back it’s called violence”
9:58 PM · Sep 9, 2011·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Moria “Rose” Gold
@AnarchyAndi
“When the rich rob the poor it’s called business. When the poor fight back it’s called violence” #violence gang #NOKINGS
10:10 AM · Sep 10, 2011·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Vodka Soup
@Vodka_Soup
When the rich rob the poor it’s called business. When the poor fight back it’s called violence.
(This saying is also shown on an image.—ed.)
11:00 AM · Sep 10, 2011·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
salrojas
@salrojas
Photo: When the rich rob the poor it’s called BUSINE$$… http://tumblr.com/xm14mb89qv
(This saying is also shown on an image.—ed.)
7:31 PM · Sep 10, 2011·Tumblr

Twitter
MKUltraboost
@hashy_larry
“When the rich rob the poor it’s called business. When the poor fight back it’s called violence” #NOKINGS”
12:00 AM · Sep 12, 2011·Twitter for Android

Twitter
Kibwe Brathwaite
@KibweBrathwaite
Photo: WHEN THE RICH ROB THE POOR IT’S CALLED BUSINESS | WHEN THE POOR FIGHT BACK IT’S CALLED VIOLENCE http://tumblr.com/xnz4od9gai
7:24 PM · Sep 13, 2011·Tumblr

Twitter
HousingisaHumanRight
@humanright2home
When the rich rob the poor, its called business..when the poor fight back its call violence” #occupywallstreet
9:15 PM · Sep 25, 2011·Hootsuite

Twitter
Maaaaaac ♥
@PsychoReveal
“WHEN THE RICH ROB THE POOR, IT IS CALLED BUSINESS.
WHEN THE POOR FIGHT BACK, IT IS CALLED VIOLENCE’’ - MARK TWAIN
12:41 PM · Oct 9, 2015·Facebook

Twitter
संजय किसन शेडगे (Sanjay Kisan Shedge)
@SanjayShedge2
WHEN THE RICH ROB THE POOR, IT IS CALLED BUSINESS.
WHEN THE POOR FIGHT BACK, IT IS CALLED VIOLENCE.
-- MARK TWAIN.
8:22 AM · Oct 13, 2015·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Ke Mopedi Thwii.
@poulinkie
When the rich rob the poor,it is called business and when the poor revolt it is called violent’’mark twain’’#Feesmustfall
4:45 AM · Oct 23, 2015·Twitter Web Client

Mark Twain Studies
THE APOCRYPHAL TWAIN: “WHEN THE RICH ROB THE POOR, IT’S CALLED BUSINESS.”
Posted on December 28, 2016 by Matt Seybold
(...)
It was not associated with Twain until October of last year. The first specious attribution I tracked down was made on the Facebook page for The Birds of Paradise, an independent film about “psychic hipsters” involved in Occupy Wall Street.

The Birds of Paradise
October 8, 2015
“When the rich rob the poor, it’s called business. When the poor fight back, it is called violence.”—Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author


The film, according to IMDB, is still in pre-production, but its subject provides insight into the quote’s true origin. I will not speculate as to a single, reliable source, but it is apparent that it began circulating on social media in the weeks just before the Occupy protests, which began on September 17, 2011. The earliest iteration I found was this one (on Twitter):

When the rich rob from the poor, it’s called business, but when the poor fight back, it’s called violence.
— Alfred Remulla (@alfredremulla_) September 10, 2011


WWD
Chris Brown Opens First Black Pyramid Pop-up Store in Amsterdam, Ready to Release Documentary, ‘Party’ Single
Chris Brown’s Black Pyramid business is expected to generate more than $15 million in annual volume.

By ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
DECEMBER 19, 2016, 12:01AM
(...)
Along with a flurry of images of his Black Pyramid collection, recent posts include him wearing an Army green jacket from the brand in the new video “Party,” a shot of a Ralph Waldo Emerson book cover, Charlo Williams boxing, Brown’s two-year-old daughter Royalty drawing, various anime posts and an image of handwritten sign that reads, “When the Rich rob the Poor, It’s Called BUSINESS. When the poor Fight back, it’s called VIOLENCE.”

Google Books
When The Rich Rob The Poor It’s Called Business. When The Poor Fight Back It’s Called Violence
Blank Lined Notebook Journal Diary Composition Notepad 120 Pages 6x9 Paperback ( Punk ) Tartan

By Poppy Curry · 2019

Twitter
Shaine Black Fyre
@KingHenryTweets
When the Rich Rob the poor it’s called business…when the poor fight back it’s called violence - UNKNOWN
11:51 AM · Nov 17, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Louis Fiquet III
@TPaineWeNeedYou
Replying to @owl_jeff and @paulkrugman
“When the rich rob the poor its called business.  When the poor fight back it’s called violence.” Mark Twain
4:18 PM · Nov 20, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Thursday, November 18, 2021 • Permalink