Nearly 200 people gathered in Washington Square Park on Nov 27 to rally on behalf of striking members of the Writer’s Guild of America, East. Speakers included Democratic presidential hopeful, former Senator John Edwards, who described the writers’ strike as a “cause of fairness.” Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who represents the Eighth Congressional District in New York, also attended, as did celebrities Colin Quinn, Gilbert Gottfried and Danny Glover.
Since Nov 5, WGAE and the Writer’s Guild of America, East have been on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. At issue is the writers’ request for a fair percentage of the profits from their work broadcasted over the Internet and on the numerous portable tech devices now available. More than 12,000 writers are affected by the strike. Talks between the two sides resumed on Nov 26.
During the rally in New York, members of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America, the Screen Actors Guild, and local unions showed their support. Many in Washington Square Park focused on how technology has the potential both to create jobs, and to take rights and money from writers.
Mona Mangan, executive director of WGAE, told the attendees that it is “time to get our fair share…the audience is waiting.”