(Freelance journalist and anarchist Josh WolfÂ has refused to turn over videotapes of a protest being investigated by a federal grand jury. Online Journalism Review has written about his case;Â you canÂ read moreÂ in Wikipedia.Â In December IÂ promisedÂ to write about his case every Friday until he is freed.Â Spread the word.Â –Â Tom Abate aka MiniMediaGuy).
Last week hopes roseÂ and fell after a court-orderedÂ mediation failed to findÂ a face-saving way for Josh to win his freedom. Supporters are now being urged to write toÂ a newly-appointed federal prosecutor to give theÂ case another look. Some folks have promised toÂ hold vigils outside the federal court building in San Francisco where his jailers work.
Please click through for details. It’s time to end theÂ most misguidedÂ act of prosecutorial zealÂ since Javert made Jean ValjeanÂ miserableÂ for stealing a loaf of French bread.
Most of this information comes from Liz Wolf Spada who is Josh’s mom. I haven’t met the woman (or her son for that matter) but if I ever land in the pokey for a princpledÂ stand, I think I’ll ask her to adopt me. She writes:
Josh has suggested that it might help if we allÂ wrote letters to the new US Attorney Scott Schools,Â both email and followed by snail mail.Â I think it would be most effective for everyone toÂ compose their own letter with these points in mind:
Urge him to drop the case as an assault upon civil liberties of free speech and free press.
The police car in question suffered very minor damage (a broken tail light) andÂ Josh’s punishmentÂ is disproportionate to any minor crimes he could haveÂ filmed from the location he was at during theÂ protest.
It sends a very harmful message to Americans andÂ to the world about the state of press freedoms inÂ the United States
He has support from professional journalistÂ groups including the Reporters Committe to Protect the Press, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalist, National NewspaperÂ Guild, and two awards from Northern California Society ofÂ Professional Journalists
I’d add one other thing. Keep a level tone. It’s hard for people to focus on your words when you’re hurling verbal insults. Here are the addresses:
By snail mail: The Honorable Scott Schools,Â United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, 11th Floor, San Francisco, California 94102-3495
By email, send it to his assistant: firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ and she will refer it.
About the planned vigil:Â Wolf supporter Len HarrisonÂ (his website)Â plans toÂ add the “Free Josh Wolf” banner toÂ an Iraq War protest being organized by MoveOn.org onÂ Monday, March 19.Â Harrison writes in part:
I will be there from 8Â until the end of the MoveOn vigil.Â Please join me and leaveÂ as time and energy permits, although it would beÂ great if some folks couldÂ try to make it for the latter part of things so that Josh Wolf is prominent within the MoveOn protest.Â At present I am uncertain of the schedule beyondÂ Monday. At some point IÂ will make this a five day a week thing, ten hours aÂ day for myself . . . Down the road from that, I’ll go in the direction of 24/7 and eventually will begin a hungerÂ strike. . . Please email me if you . . . areÂ planning on taking part len (at) lharrison.net.