Freed local journalist Josh Wolf less tanned
but more confident
Josh Wolf meets with reporters afternoon of his release from federal
Photo(s) by Stephen Dorian
By Pat Murphy
September 1, 2006
Josh Wolf lost his tan but had grown more comfortable with his
smile as an applauding press corps welcomed the American free
man back to the streets on San Francisco.
He stood on 7th Street at 1:00 p.m. today, before the United
States Court House, freed by federal Appellate Court order releasing
Wolf on his own recognizance after one month of incarceration
in federal prison.
Having forgot to bring cash with him to prison, Wolf thanked
his former fellow inmates "support of solidarity" before
reading a prepared statement.
Inmates pooled toiletries for Wolf despite his lack of commissary
Federal Judge William Alsup order Wolf jailed in contempt of
court August 1, 2006, for refusing to surrender unpublished video
of a San Francisco demonstration.
Wolf's basis for appealing for release on bail "was not
trivial," the Appellate Court ruled. The ruling implicitly
acknowledged Wolf's appeal of the entire case has standing, said
Dan Siegel, one attorney representing Wolf.
Attorney Carlos Villarreal echoed Siegel.
Attorney Carlos Villarreal, center, with Dan Siegel, right
"This provides some vindication and we are cautiously optimistic
about what the Ninth Circuit will ultimately decide," stated
Villarreal, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild for
of the San Francisco Bay Area.
"We are hopeful that justices are going to consider the
importance of a free and independent media, especially when journalists
are covering free speech activities."
Wolf said he is optimistic his case will prevail.
"They have concluded my appeal is not frivolous or simply
for a delay, so that's a positive sign," began Wolf.
"I have confidence that these vital rights are at the core
essential to the practice of journalism and eventually will be
recognized at the federal level - if not through the courts then
at least through Congress."
San Francisco Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wade
face federal contempt of court imprisonment. Wolfe offered veteran
advice should they go to jail.
Honor unspoken inmate protocol of not asking why an inmate is
And bring cash, Wolf stressed.