November 21st, 2006

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NEW! Sign the Free Josh Wolf petition!

Josh Wolf, freelance journalist and independent videographer, is currently in “coercive custody” at the Federal Detention Facility in Dublin, California. He is not charged with any crime and is being held under civil contempt. Wolf was incarcerated in July 2006 after resisting a subpoena to testify before a Federal Grand jury and for refusing to turn over his source material for video he shot of a San Francisco protest against the G8 Summit in 2005. His incarceration is virtually unprecedented. As of February 6 he is now the longest imprisoned journalist in U.S. history for failure to comply with a subpoena.

Having covered protests for several years as part of the San Francisco press corps, Wolf has gained exclusive access to much of the Bay Area’s activist community. Access denied to other journalists. Throughout Wolf’s ordeal, he has expressed concerns that this case is an attempt by federal prosecutors to out anarchists and his attorneys have argued that the grand jury investigation is a fishing expedition. Wolf has repeatedly stated under oath that his unpublished material does not contain footage of any of the alleged crimes committed. In a show of good faith, Wolf has offered to let the judge review his tape.

The Honorable Judge William Alsup refused.

Wolf, 24, is the recipient of the 2006 Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Award as Journalist of the Year and the 2007 James Madison Award for Online Free Speech. Advocates from Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalism and numerous others have all spoken out in his defense.


Tom Hayden
Committee to Protect Journalists
American Civil Liberties Union
Society of Professional Journalists
National Press Club
The Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America
National Lawyer’s Guild
Northern California Media Workers Guild
California Newspaper Publishers Association
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Center for Media and Democracy
Reporters Without Borders
National Writers Union
First Amendment Project
Washington Independent Writers
National Press Photographers Association
Judicial Equality Foundation, Inc.
League of Young Voters
Grand Jury Resistance Project
San Francisco District Attorney, Kamala Harris
San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
San Francisco Labor Council
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Daniel Ellsberg
California State Assemblyman Mark Leno
California State Senator Carole Migden
Steal this Wiki
COA News
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Contra Costa Times
Charles Cooper, Executive Editor, CNET News
Keene Free Press
Peter Laufer, Huffington Post