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Open letter (sample) to Congressman Conyers and others

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 4 months ago

Open letter (sample) to Congressman Conyers and others


Please write your congressperson. There is movement to get the subpoenas for the two Chronicle reporters rescinded.(http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/01/19/MNGKTNLHOR1.DTL)

We need to let everyone know that Josh is not just awaiting incarceration, but HAS ALREADY BEEN IN JAIL FOR OVER 150 DAYS FOR GRAND JURY CONTEMPT. To make an exception for Williams and Fainaru-Wada while keeping Josh jailed is an assault against all independent media.


Here is a sample letter:



January 19, 2006


To Representative John Conyers


From Liz Wolf-Spada

PO Box 2235

Wrightwood, CA 92397





Dear Representative Conyers,



While I find it commendable that Congress is finally getting involved in the questionable legality of grand jury subpoenas of journalists, I am appalled that no mention has been made of my son’s case. Josh Wolf is not facing a subpoena. HE HAD BEEN INCARCERATED FOR 150 DAYS ALREADY FOR REFUSING TO COMPLY WITH THAT SUBPOENA.

Josh Wolf is an independent journalist who reports on local San Francisco activities, with a special interest in protests and demonstrations. He has been reporting on these events on his web site for over three years and has a large following. One of his videotapes from a protest of June 8, 2002, is currently being used to prosecute cases of police brutality against jailed protestors.

Unlike the Chronicle reporters, Josh does not have a large corporate media conglomerate backing him or paying his bills. He was not given a stay, but was immediately put in jail on August 1, 2006, when Judge William Alsup ruled him in contempt for refusing to turn over unpublished video footage and for refusing to testify. Since then, Josh’s lawyer, Martin Garbus, has offered to give the unpublished material to the US Attorney in exchange for them dropping the subpoena to testify. The US Attorney refused this offer. The judge refused to view the tape to see if it had any relevance to the supposed investigation into an alleged attempt to burn a police car. The police car in question suffered only a broken taillight.

Josh cannot get permission from his sources to testify. His sources are the large group of dissidents in San Francisco who are exercising their first amendment rights to free speech and assembly. The attempt to intimidate Josh to name names of people present at that protest not only goes against our rights to a free press, but it goes against our rights to free speech and assembly.

I urge you to petition Attorney General Gonzales to dismiss this contempt charge against Josh Wolf and release him from prison, where he has been held in coercive custody for 150 days.




Liz Wolf-Spada

(mother of jailed journalist, Josh Wolf)

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