Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sixty-Nine Year Ago ...

From President Emeritus Tom Sito:.

Oct. 5, 1945- The BATTLE OF BURBANK (sometimes called the Battle of Warner Bros) - Three thousand striking union filmworkers (and a few animators) battled the Burbank police in front of Gate 2 of the Warner Bros. Studio lot. chains, bricks, tear gas, firehoses, burning cars.

Jack Warner placed sharpshooters behind those large movie billboards on Barham and Pass. The head of Warner Bros security was the brother-in-law of the chief of the Burbank police, so many strikebreakers had legal gun permits.

Contract screenwriter Ayn Rand talked most of the producers' secretaries into crossing the picket line. One of the strikeleaders arrested was a background painter for Tex Avery cartoons. Herb Sorrel, the union leader, was pulled into a car and beaten up by gangsters, then later arrested for incitement to riot.

It's hard to even imagine this sort of riot happening today. Happens in the Ukraine, happens in the middle east, happens in Thailand. But here? In good old Burbank?

I guess if things get dire enough, anything is possible. French aristocrats in 1789 and the czar's circle of chums in 1917 thought workers rising up was beyond the pale. But when people and social/political forces whirl together in a certain way, it happens with explosive force, and then carves out its own swath.


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