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Report from the front: The Fox Plaza rally

UPDATED 5:30-ish

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It’s 12:20 and after a two-hour pep rally with an estimated 4,000 striking WGA members and moral supporters, the Los Angeles Police Dept. is just now reopening the stretch of Pico Boulevard in front of 20th Century Fox Studio and Avenue of the Stars in front of the Fox Plaza building.

The rally shut down the length of Avenue of the Stars between Pico and Santa Monica boulevards as an overflow crowd of red-shirted picketers poured into the intersection of Avenue of the Stars and Galaxy street in front of Fox Plaza to hear from Rev. Jesse Jackson, WGA west prexy Patric Verrone, WGA exec director David Young, SAG prexy Alan Rosenberg, guild member Seth MacFarlane (who delighted the crowd by throwing in a few “Family Guy” voices) and a surprise appearance by Norman Lear. Tom Morello and Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine did a two-song set that brought to mind the sights and sounds of 1960s anti-war marches.

Rally at times had the feel of a scribe-tribe family reunion, with many attendees commenting that everywhere they turned the saw old friends, old bosses and “people who beat me out for jobs,” in the words of one scribe. As Lear put it in his brief remarks to the crowd: “This is my nuclear family.”

Even as the strike moved in to its fifth day, scribes voiced strong resolve to keep up the pickets and pressure as long as necessary.

“My basic thing is: Whatever we get is going to be way worse than what we deserve,” said multihyphenate Judd Apatow. “We have to fight this hard and we’ll still not reach that one percent” of revenue generated worldwide by film and TV productions.

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