Hollywood Blvd. rally: On the march

0 WGA West president Patric Verrone opened Tuesday’s Labor Solidarity rally on Hollywood Boulevard with a historical reference.

“Seventy five years ago, ten writers met at the Knickerbocker Hotel near here to form a union with teeth. We are here to show our teeth. What that means is that we’re here to walk down Hollywood Boulevard and smile.”

Verrone then introduced singer Alicia Keys, who performed to loud cheers from the back of a truck parked at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Avenue.

After Keys performed two songs, several thousand participants began marching west on Hollywood Boulevard, led by a pair of Teamster trucks and a dozen LAPD officers on motorcycles and bicycles. March began at 1:40 p.m.

Verrone was front and center as the march started, walking next to a 20-foot “Solidarity with Writers” banner. In total, the crowd covered three blocks.

“On strike, shut it down, Hollywood’s a union town” was a popular chant among the marchers near the front of the crowd.

With drums and and tambourines provding rhythm, march had a festive feel. A white German shepherd named Yukon had a WGA picket sign attached to her side proclaiming: “We won’t be licked!”

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Several homeless people improvised signs, one reading: “Bums support Writers.”

Verrone launched the rally at 2:25 p.m. in front of the Chinese Theater by thanking the politicians for their support. He singled out Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards for walking the picket line last week, and he intro’d L.A. city councilman Eric Garcetti.

In all, the rally lasted about a half-hour, and will stand as WGA’s last strike-related demonstration until the guild’s talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resume on Monday. Verrone and negotiating committee chair John Bowman didn’t talk specifics about next week’s talks in their comments to the crowd, but they criticized the majors in general terms.

–Dave McNary

Alicia Keys Photo by Michael Jones/Variety; crowd shot and pics below by Matthew Simmons/WireImage

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  1. david sheer says:

    The Writer’s Lament
    Just a thought, a poem, a seed wherefrom sprouts the tree of destiny… of Revolution! Writer’s UNITE! Let me remember the long struggle…
    Oh, how I envy you writers. How you who have toiled in the industry. You who have worked hard in dazed sweat and mighty struggle.. and yet through it all… still YOU have seen your efforts realized, made manifest on TV… or the big screen.
    Yes! You deserve all that can be paid in gold for such a drain on the soul. How I envy you writers… to walk and strike in pride of work well done! C’mon, let’s all join in and all start a revolution…. Just like the internet has done to us today. Writers unite!! Let us first describe the mental madness that is writing! Then surely they can understand and… pay! . Stick this poetry of lament in the suits’ faces!!!!
    See, it all makes me wanna… screeeeammMMMMM!
    For you have already seen your dream fulfilled… your efforts made manifest!!!!
    But I digress…
    See… I am jealous for you… of you. For you see, my envious fever stems from having toiled in relative obscurity…. news commercial ads, c’mon??? Oh, jealous envy still your shaking hand. Soon the darkness of obscurity shall part to glorious successes…surely it is that time.
    Oh yes, YES I’ve felt that glorious glow of being lost in a volcanic flow of stream of consciousness writing. Oh, what sweet ecstasy!!! To what worlds travel we.
    It’s rather like and OBE or other otherworldly moment. Tap tapping through the dark night…. time indeed stands still while one is deep in the throes of a birthing an idea!!!
    Lo! A new screenplay. The new story that will set the world on fire!!! TO create and make a perfect movie! One pushing the bounds of technology and the storytelling matrix….
    Surely this is why God made us. But this ecstasy is fleeting. For this is only the beginning. For then the testing begins… the torture… the madness. Who is this brave? Fewer still can stand it. Surely not one with an exorbitant salary who plays the games of executive excess in their steel and glass towers of power and … and…decay.
    For after the writer’s creation is birthed, this… this is when the Lament begins.
    The tortured hours upon hours of forced concentration wringing the raw creation into fruition. The blissful tap tapping now descends into a banging, banging purgatory of writers lament. Write, rewrite and rewrite again. Lost in the daily struggle… REWRITE! Yes, it is the rewrite that brings the ideal into realized beauty. But for many the daily struggle becomes weekly and soon slips into months and drags and taps and bangs into the psyche till it is wrung out. And having spent my creative coin, I lay prostrate.
    But you writers who have help, who have mentors, sages and muses, rejoice!
    For my stairway to heaven yet remains unfulfilled. Having birthed beautiful baby’s, yet no glory on the big screen for me as yet. See, as now I have a touch of the writer’s block… draining all energy… growing weaker….
    So take heart writer’s Guild Strikers!! Unite, and strike up the revolution!!!!
    You deserve all that can be paid in gold and more for such a drain on the soul.
    How I envy you “recognized” writers… to walk and strike in pride of work well done. Stick this poetry of lament in the suits’ faces!!!!
    Ummm…. Then, Maybe could I get some advice from some of you who have time on ur hands???
    I have gothic horror and sci-fi/fantasy scripts near completion but as yet I am BLOCKED accursed blocked!!! Any of u see fit to mentor, to play the wise sage?
    I can be reached at soulstoryline@aol.com or david sheer at http://www.myspace.com/davidrockdog

  2. Truthseeker says:

    WGA Supporter — I think he means the post-march rally. The march and rally combined was two hours, but the rally itself was shorter

  3. El Gran Turuk says:

    All my support for the strike. It’s time for the industry recognizes the big role of the writers on the Films and series!
    Greetings from Spain!
    I take u a photo of the demonstration for my blog if u dont mind :)

  4. WGA Supporter says:

    “…In all, the rally lasted about a half-hour…”
    Actually, from start to finish it was easily 2 hours.
    Several cast members of “Heroes” were there. Also spotted Ray Romano, Deborah Messing, Sonya Walger, Bob Odenkirk, and Adam Arkin, among others.
    I also find it funny that with the several helicopters that were circling, none of the networks showed an aerial shot of the huge turnout.






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