A Year of Living Dangerously

In many ways, the past year has been a test for all of us and for our union. May 25 marked the one-year anniversary of the police killing of George Floyd and the anti-racist uprising that followed. The past year also featured the US Presidential election and the fascist storming of the US Capitol. It […]

Poison Pill Threatens Good Legislation

At least 322 journalists have been assaulted, 122 have been arrested or detained and more than 980 have reported press freedoms violations since the beginning of the year, according to the US Press Freedom Tracker. First Amendment Groups and Journalists in California were encouraged when state Senator Mike McGuire reintroduced SB 98 last year following […]

Journalists Say No to SB 98 Amendment Requiring Police Permission to Cover Protests

We, the undersigned organizations, which collectively represent thousands of California journalists, strongly oppose a recent amendment made to SB 98, a bill originally intended to protect journalists covering protests, demonstrations and civil unrest. This amendment may actually restrict existing press freedoms rather than expand them, turning this bill on its head and into something that […]

Prop 22: Contractor or Employee?

Defining who is an employee and who is an independent contractor is a critical labor topic being addressed by Congress, the Trump administration, the courts, and state legislatures. It has particular relevance for writers of all types.  In California, the National Writers Union has supported AB 5 and AB 2257 and now opposes Proposition 22 […]

Erased

Every day, I get glimpses of the erasure of Americans of color. My May 8 New York Times arts section (“For a Great Escape, Try a 1940s Musical”) describes the era when white movie stars like Fred Astaire and Shirley Temple danced in blackface to tap and jazz, trained by African American dancers, allowed to appear in […]

Celebrating Frederick Douglass Day

This year on Friday July 3, 2020 we presented Frederick Douglass Day — An Alternative Fourth of July Celebration via Zoom, gathering Frederick Douglass speech readers, Lissa Tyler Renaud, Kim McMillon, and Robert Cuffy— from NYC to Oakland. We also featured “live” music over Zoom from saxophonist Richard Howell in the SF Bay Area, and bassist Hilliard Greene in NYC.  We first presented our […]

Erased

Every day, I get glimpses of the erasure of Americans of color. My May 8 New York Times arts section (“For a Great Escape, Try a 1940s Musical”) describes the era when White movie stars like Fred Astaire and Shirley Temple danced in blackface to tap and jazz, trained by African-American dancers, who were allowed to appear […]

SoCal Chapter Chair Plays Benefit Concert

Writer, musician, activist and NWU chapter head, Ismael Parra held a concert fundraiser with the theme “The Struggle for Peace and Planet” on November 23 at an art studio in Los Angeles The concert was a fundraiser for the play Many May Not Return written by NWU member David Trujillo. The play will run January […]

House of Representatives Passes Copyright Small Claims Bill

On October 22, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the “Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019” (CASE Act), H.R. 2426, by a vote of 410 to 6: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2426 The NWU along with many creators’ groups and the member organizations of the Authors Coalition of America  endorsed the CASE Act. The NWU submitted detailed […]

Sign the Petition to Save Mumia’s Eyesight

Recently the National Writers Union learned of a petition to save journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal’s vision. In 1982, he was sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering a white policeman in Philadelphia. Circumstances surrounding his trial, however, cast serious doubt on the veracity of the proceedings. Over his decades in prison, his health has deteriorated. Recently, Abu-Jamal was diagnosed with glaucoma, […]