Excerpts from freelance journalist Josh Wolf


What follows are excerpts from an Aug. 14 letter that freelance journalist Josh Wolf wrote to reporter Sarah Phelan from inside Dublin Federal Correctional Institute. Wolf has been held at Dublin FCI since Aug. 1 refusing to give a federal grand jury unpublished footage from a July 8, 2005 anti-G8 protest that turned violent.

Aug. 14, 2006

Dear Sarah,

Thanks for writing to me about my case;

On Judith Miller:

“The issue of Judith Miller is a complicated one. My reservations about the Judith Miller situation are as follows: She should be protected, but should she have published it in the first place? I’m very thankful that she has helped publicize my case and I have talked to her on the phone and wouldn’t want it to seem like I’m ungrateful for the support.”

On the injuries that a SFPD officer sustained during the July 8, 2005 anti G8 protest:

“The officer’s injury is a sad and unfortunate incident, and I do not in any way condone violence against any living creature. However, as tragic and unjust as it may have been, it is a potential crime which falls under state and not Federal jurisdiction and although the Assistant US Attorney has brought up the injured officer repeatedly, he has never asserted that this potential crime is part of the grand jury investigation and is therefore nothing more than an effort to sensationalize the case.

Furthermore, my mother’s statement is accurate, I neither witnessed nor filmed the alleged assault on the officer – I learned of the incident after hearing “officer down” by several bystanders. At that point in time, I was filming the aforementioned officer’s partner choking Gabe Myers whom has been charged with the conspiracy charge of attempting to lynch himself, along with resisting arrest and rioting. The published video illustrates this fairly well and can be accessed through http://joshwolf.net/grandjury/ along with the all the legal documents up until I became incarcerated and could no longer maintain the site.”

On the alleged arson to a SFPD patrol car:

“Another important factor in the police’s story of what happened that night is their claim that the Styrofoam sign (for the 500th time, there was no mattress) became lodged in front of their car, therein disabling it. While the Styrofoam sign may have been lodged – I have trouble believing that a piece of Styrofoam could actually force a modified Crown Victoria to a stop. As a rear-wheel drive car with more-than-ample horsepower, I believe it would’ve been able to push the sign along indefinitely, if not able to completely rise over the top of it. Beyond that, the officers immediately jumped out of their vehicle and chased after the 2 people they believed were originally holding the sign.

By the way, these officers – Shields + Wolf (no known relation to myself) were not assigned to the protest and were responding to some sort of complaint. These police officers attempted to disperse the crowd by accelerating their vehicle towards us – it was at that point that the sign carriers in the back of the crowd dropped their sign and dived out of the car’s path. The most accurate description I heard of the event came from Attorney Ben Rosenfeld who spoke at one of my press conferences, the video can be accessed at the URL I mentioned previously.”

On the grand jury investigation:

“As I’m sure you are aware, the subject of the grand jury investigation, or the reason that I’m in jail, is the alleged attempt to destroy property that the federal government may have had a fiscal interest in, the SFPD patrol vehicle. If this pretense for a federal interest is allowed to stand, then would not all public property – be it city, state, or federal serve to trump state protections such as the California Shield law. This would not only include streets, schools, and sidewalks, but also city hall itself.