Solidarity and Celebration in Atlanta

Atlanta,

Georgia —

January 21, 2007 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By Philip Nutman, Strike Co-Captain, WGA East in Georgia

As our strike continues, members of the WGA East, supported

by members of SAG/AFTRA/Equity, ALPA (the Pilots' Union), fans4writers, and faculty

and students from Emory

University's

screenwriting program joined thousands of other union members, peace groups,

political supporters and civil rights activists in the annual MLK Day march and

rally.

Walking from the top of famous Peachtree Street south to

historic "Sweet" Auburn Avenue, past the legendary Ebenezer Baptist

church where Dr. King preached and sowed the seeds for the Civil Rights Movement,

the march was watched and cheered by thousands more who came out to brave the

unseasonably freezing Georgia weather.

Although modest in size compared to other unions, the WGA

group – which numbered around 20 people – were repeatedly greeted with cheers

of support and pumped fists from the

enthusiastic crowd.

Despite being tired and cold from hours outdoors in

temperatures that barely reached 40 degrees (but were closer to freezing thanks

to the wind chill factor), my strike co-captain Jason Dolan agreed the

experience was exciting and invigorating.

"It was great—very empowering," Dolan said at the march's

conclusion outside the MLK

Center for Nonviolent

Change.

"To be part of such an iconic experience was exhilarating," added fellow WGA-er Michael

Lucker. "To be stretching the impassioned message of the Writers Guild far beyond

the streets of Hollywood

was a privilege."

The consensus among our group was unanimous: empowering and

very gratifying, especially the response from the crowd.

Spearheading the procession were visiting dignitaries

alongside Atlanta Mayor Shirley Jackson and representatives from peace and

church groups. Following immediately behind came the unions – CWA

(Communications Workers of America) UNITE HERE! (the Industrial and Textile and

Hotel Employees), Teamsters and many others.

We were asked to march directly behind our friends in the

CWA, which was great as the local office supported us when we held our first

awareness rally last month.

"They were wearing red, we were rearing red, and the UNITE HERE! people

behind us were wearing red," Dolan said. "There was a lot of red."

Between the CWA and the UNITE! crowd, we didn't need to call

out our message as they shouted it out best: "Mighty, mighty Union!"

I suggested we stay silent. After all we're writers, we're

on strike and haven't written anything to say.

Our merry band laughed.

Who said solidarity had to be serious? Especially on a cold

day dedicated to peace.

 

View pictures from the Atlanta Rally>