“We have plenty of people out there at all three locations just to keep things peaceful,” Burbank Police Sgt. Travis Irving said.
Police largely remained out of sight during the protests. One police officer on a motorcycle watched the strike from an office building parking lot across the street from Warner Bros., and other officers parked their cars within sight of the demonstrations but out of the protesters’ way.
The increase in police personnel will not affect normal operations in Burbank, Irving said. The last time writers walked out was 1988, when the strike lasted five months. It cost the industry $500 million, Keyser said.
Berman, who took part in that walkout, senses a different motivation this time.
“There was such division in 1988,” he said.
“There is no dissension here. Every day we’re getting stronger. We’re in it for the long haul.”
Though the issues that brought each picket outside Monday were a common topic of discussion, the strike also afforded some opportunity to socialize.
“Writing is a relatively solitary job,” Cooper said.
“It’s nice to be out here and meet other people, to talk with other writers.”
Though Cooper and his family stand to lose money by not working, he is prepared to strike for as long as it takes.
“I will never cross the line,” he said.
“I’ll be out here 20 hours a week. My kids understand this and my wife understands. People are committed.”
JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers City Hall and public safety. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.