Solidarity Goes Global
For 45 days, since the WGA began our strike, eyes around the world have watched us. During the WGA’s International Day of Solidarity on Wednesday, the world did more than watch.
In a historic display of unity, thousands of writers, workers and supporters across diverse industries from more than 30 countries marched, picketed, and sent messages of solidarity in support of WGA writers’ fight for a fair contract and a sustainable future.
In Los Angeles and New York, WGA members rallied at Disney and Netflix Studios, homes to two of the largest global employers. Throughout the day, workers in other nations, from Argentina to Slovenia,and everywhere in between, took to the streets to display messages of support, using the hashtag #ScreenwritersEverywhere.
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More Visibility for Disabled Writers
Allen Rucker likes to joke that when he took over as chair of WGAW's Disabled Writers Committee (DWC) in 2007, there were barely enough writers to even have a committee.
“I always say that there were five writers and two of them were quadriplegics who couldn’t come to the meetings,” said Rucker who chaired the committee for 14 years. “There were very few people who were disabled who were in the WGAW.”
The committee now counts more than 70 members within its ranks, many of whom came to the picket line at Sony Wednesday afternoon. For Rucker, who has experienced five strikes in his 43 years as a WGAW member, Wednesday was unique.
The DWC received donations of food, resources including an accessible restroom facility and ASL interpreters from the American Association of People with Disabilities, 1in4Coalition, The Inevitable Foundation, Momentum Innovative Disability Services, and WGAW writer-producer Margaret Nagle. In selecting a location for the gathering, event organizers sought out a studio that had easy parking access for Uber drivers among other considerations.
“We try to be really conscious about disabilities in all the different forms they can take,” said David Radcliff, who co-chairs the DWC with Shea Mirzai. “I have cerebral palsy, and I use a wheelchair. We also want to provide ASL interpreters for folks who are deaf. We wanted to pick a location that wasn’t particularly noisy compared to other studios.”
“Obviously during a strike, there’s going to be lots of horns,” Radcliff added, over the sound of passing cars honking, as if on cue. “But it’s also a lot easier than people think in terms of integrating disabled people into workplaces. We wanted to demonstrate that also. We want to raise some of the visibility around these issues, and get more disabled stories told by disabled writers.”
"Disabled people are a famously resourceful group who are already well versed in fighting for basic rights and protections,” added Mirzai, who is also a member of WGAW's Middle Eastern Writers and LGBTQ+ Writers Committees. “We stand with our colleagues in the WGA, and in our sister unions, as we fight for a simple and fair deal that is mutually beneficial to all."