(Freelance journalist and anarchist Josh Wolf has refused to turn over videotapes of a protest being investigated by a federal grand jury. Online Journalism Review has written about his case; you can read more in Wikipedia. In December I promised to write about his case every Friday until he is freed. Spread the word. — Tom Abate aka MiniMediaGuy).
Josh’s mom. Liz Wolf-Spada, passed on this note:
“There is another attempt at mediation coming up on Monday April 2 . . . I know it meant a lot to Josh that he caught a glimose of some of you out there to support him when the prison bus arrived at the courthouse (before his prior, unsuccessful mediation). If you can be there again, I think he got there between 8 and 9.
“For those of you who pray or have a spiritual practice please hold Josh up in your minds in a good way; let’s do that. Don’t forget to also keep his attorneys, the magistrate Judge Spero and the U.S. attorneys in your prayers, for an outcome that will be satisfactory for all and allow Josh to be released from prison while he continues to protect the rights of others who exercised free speech at the protest.”
Liz also pointed to a podcast, conducted by phone from the federal prison in Dublin, California, in which Josh tells interviewer Alex Stonehill of the Commom Language Project, why he is “in non-compliance” with the subpoena. Josh begins by thanking the (prison) administration for allowing him to talk. Josh’s tone struck me as firm but non-confrontational. He said his non-compliance was intended to avoid setting a precedent in which federal investigators could “turn journalists into surveillance cameras . . . force them to testify . . . (then) you’re no longer a journalist, you’re a cop.”
Here is a link to the podcast.
* * *
If you have not already done so, write to U.S. Attorney Steve Schools. Keep a level tone. It sounds like everyone is looking for a way out of this. If Josh can discuss his “non-compliance” calmly then surely you can make the case just as calmly for his release. Here are the addresses:
By snail mail: The Honorable Scott Schools, 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: email@example.com and she will refer it.