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San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 10 months ago

SF Resolution sponsored by Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly


This resolution is currently in committee and will go to a vote in 2 weeks. Please Contact the Board of Supervisors and encourage them to vote in favor of this resolution.


Resolution resisting the federal government’s intervention in the City and County of San Francisco’s investigation of the July 8th, 2005 G-8 protest and expressing support for the California Shield Law


WHEREAS, The City and County of San Francisco and its residents are governed under the California State Constitution and other state laws; and


WHEREAS, The California Constitution under the California Evidence Code 1070 establishes protections for news-gatherers under the California Shield Law; and


WHEREAS, The California Court of Appeals recently ruled that the California Shield Law “is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news,” and that the law protects Internet “bloggers” and other new forms of journalism just as it does traditional journalists; and,


WHEREAS, A federal grand jury is investigating the events that occurred at a July 8th, 2005 protest of the G-8 Summit in Scotland, and the stated subject of the investigation is the alleged vandalism of a San Francisco Police Department patrol vehicle; and


WHEREAS, The United States Government asserts that this case is under federal jurisdiction because the patrol vehicle is paid for out of San Francisco’s general fund, and the City and County receive money from the federal government; and


WHEREAS, This attempt to circumvent the local judicial system stands to damage the efficacy of the California Shield Law and the California State Constitution; and


WHEREAS, There is an ongoing local investigation in the matters of the July 8th demonstration; and


WHEREAS, Josh Wolf, an independent journalist in the City and County of San Francisco, and therein protected by the California Shield Law, has been subpoenaed to testify before the Federal Grand Jury and to furnish his unedited footage for the jury; and


WHEREAS, Josh Wolf was reporting on protected First Amendment activities on the night of July 8th, 2005; and


WHEREAS, The US Government has a recent and extensive history of overstepping its limitations in its efforts to investigate political protest; now, therefore be it


RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco oppose these attempts by the federal government and the federal grand jury to intervene in this matter that is within the jurisdiction of the City and County of San Francisco; and, be it further


RESOLVED, The Board of Supervisors urges the federal government and the federal grand jury to respect the protection of journalists afforded under the California Shield Law; and, be it further


RESOLVED, The City and County of San Francisco reinforces the need for a free press as stipulated in the First Amendment of the US Constitution and is deeply concerned that this attempt to erode the protections afforded to journalists under state law can not only have a chilling effect, but stands to potentially erode the trust relationship between journalists and their contacts and is essential to journalistic practices.

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