Journalist Josh Wolf returns to federal jail
San Francisco holds fundraiser, tunes message
of solidarity against Bush administration persecution
Josh Wolf spent his last few hours of temporary freedom at San
Francisco's Crash Bar where a fundraiser was held to raise funds
to help pay Wolf's rent while incarcerated. Wolf was ordered jailed
August 1, 2006 by US Judge William Alsup for refusing to turn
over videotape of a San Francisco G-8 demonstration turned melee
in 2005, to a U.S. Federal Grand Jury. .
September 24, 2006
Journalist Josh Wolf, temporarily freed on bail from federal
prison, spent his last few hours of freedom on Friday rallying
for a call to action against the Federal Government's persecution
of the very freedoms afforded the press by the forefathers of
the great U.S. Constitution.
The fundraising event, held at the Crash Bar in San Francisco,
was organized by several independent media organizations and attended
by several San Francisco elected officials, concerned that Josh
Wolf's incarceration is emblematic of a sinister motivation by
the U.S. Federal Government to use members of the press as an
investigatory arm for Bush-administration purposes; to identify,
persecute and prosecute Bush administration policy foes.
In a short but eloquent speech Wolf implored, "The more
of us that speak up the harder it will be for them to put forth
"Look inside yourself and ask yourself, are we on solid
ground? Are we doing and saying what we really believe?"
Wolf explained he is protecting the release of unpublished portions
of his videotape because he believes the unpublished segments
will be used by federal agents to identify demonstrators and to
Wolf also said he fears the federal prosecution of journalists
will negatively impact whistleblower willingness to talk to reporters,
further diminishing the effectiveness of a free and independent
Federal investigators have said they are interested in Wolf's
videotape footage solely for the purpose of prosecuting protestors
who may have committed acts of vandalism on federally funded property
during a G8 demonstration turned melee, on July 8, 2005.
The federal property in this case is a San Francisco Police Department
car that sustained minor damage to a tail light.
Bruce Brugmann, Publisher and Executive Editor of the San Francisco
Bay Guardian newspaper, began his speech asking the all ears audience
to consider why the Federal Government has expressed aninterest
in Wolf's videotape.
"I just met Josh Wolf in person tonight, and I can't figure
out why he's so dangerous," Brugmann said.
"Can anyone tell me why he's so dangerous?"
Brugmanm has been a staunch supporter of civil liberties, freedom
of the press, and free speech since the inaugural launch of the
San Francisco Bay Guardian newspaper in 1963.
"There's a hell-of-a lot more going on than putting Josh
Wolf and the two Chronicle reporters in jail. This move by the
US Attorney's Office, the Attorney General of the United States
comes, I think, directly from the White House, the Pentagon and
the nexus of power in Washington... to anaesthetize the movement
here in San Francisco on the issue of war and the issue of beating
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, sponsor of a resolution in support
of Wolf following Wolf's incarceration, said, "I am here
tonight in support of Josh Wolf and everything this illegal incarceration
represents. The incarceration and persecution of Josh Wolf could
not be more un-American."
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
"The issue here is certainly about the illegal incarceration
of Josh Wolf and violating his protections as a member of the
free press. But more importantly, we are witnessing the unraveling
of the very fabric that made this country great."
Mirkarimi said when a government actively persecutes dissent,
using all the branches of government to silence opposition; the
citizenry will eventually rise up and be forced to consider civil
disobedience to make their values and their voices heard. Mirkarimi
went as far as to suggest, "Maybe it's time for a new revolution?"
Julian Davis, Josh Wolf, Frank Chu (with twelfth galaxy extra-terrestrial
anagram) and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.
San Francisco Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Alan.
Ed Jew, Richard Knee and Doug Comstock
Jane Kim, Josh Wolf and Kimo Crossman
Kevin Epps, author of Straight Outta Hunters Point
Supervisor Chris Daly and Josh Wolf