Josh Wolf to be Released on Bail

Josh Wolf

Josh Wolf, the video blogger who was arrested last month, has just been granted bail by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Here are updates from the San Francisco Chronicle and Jackson West.

There will be a press conference today at 1pm at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Building in San Francisco.

Here is the press release from the Josh Wolf Legal Support Wiki:

For Immediate Release August 31, 2006

Ninth Circuit Grants Bail for Jailed Journalist Josh Wolf
Lawyers Guild Hopeful, Strong Free Speech Decision Possible

SAN FRANCISCO – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted bail today to Josh Wolf – the independent journalist and blogger who was jailed August 1st for refusing to turn over video footage to a federal grand jury.

Press Conference – Friday, September 1 at 1PM; U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Building, 95 Seventh Street in San Francisco

Speakers: Josh Wolf, Attorney Dan Siegel of Siegel & Yee, Carlos Villarreal of the National Lawyers Guild

Since Wolf’s jailing a number of organizations besides the National Lawyers Guild have voiced support for Wolf and condemnation of the Federal Government. This month the Society For Professional Journalists made a donation of $30,000 to his defense. The ACLU and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press have both filed amicus curiae on behalf of Wolf. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, led by Ross Mirkarimi and Tom Ammiano, also adopted a resolution this month urging the passage of a Federal Shield Law and condemning the federal government’s actions in the Wolf case. The resolution charges that the grand jury is an “attempt to circumvent the local judicial system,” since the crime being investigated involves an alleged attack on a San Francisco police car.

“This provides some vindication and we are cautiously optimistic about what the Ninth Circuit will ultimately decide,” said Carlos Villarreal, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area. “We are hopeful that the justices are going to consider the importance of a free and independent media, especially when journalists are covering free speech activities.”

Josh Wolf was ordered in contempt by Federal Judge William Alsup on August 1st. The US Attorney’s Office, led by Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Finigan, wants Wolf to testify before a federal grand jury and hand over a video tape of a protest that occurred in San Francisco’s Mission District last July.

photo credit: Eddie Codel