Join the Josh Wolf vigil during mediation starting at 8 a.m. Monday at the federal building in San Francico
By Bruce B. Brugmann
Josh's mother asks that people turn out this morning (Monday, April 2) from 8 to 9 a.m. when Josh Wolf will be brought from his federal prison cell in Dublin to another round of mediation between Josh's attorneys and the federal prosecutors from the U.S. attorney's office.
Liz Wolf-Spada writes to her growing email list of Josh supporters, "It would be a great show of support for Josh if we could turn out a big crowd tomorrow morning outside the federal building. At the last mediation, as Josh was being driven into the basement car entrance, he spotted a supporter holding a sign out front and it meant a great deal to him.
"A large presence of supporters would also show the feds and the press that Josh's support is broad and that we are determined to see him released immediately. As Josh's lawyers are under orders not to speak about the mediation process, we know very little about what will take place tomorrow, but it is certainly an opportune moment to visibly demonstrate our support for Josh and demand once again that the federal government release him from his unjust imprisonment."
She also reports that Josh's father has begun an ongoing vigil that will continue until Josh is released. The vigil will start each morning between 8 and 9 a.m., outside the Philip Burton federal building in San Francisco, and will be held each week day until about 6 p.m.
I plan to drop by the vigil as often as I can and I hope you do too. My wife Jean and I have just returned from the mid-year meeting of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in Cartagena, Colombia, where we were successful in getting this influential and highly respected free press organization to condemn Josh's imprisonment and demand his release from jail. (See my previous blog item).
South of the border, the journalists are up against regimes that tolerate the murder and imprisonment of journalists on a regular basis. To deal with this situation, IAPA issues strong resolutions, sends in missions to investigate and protest and seek to get the prisoners released from jail. In the case of murdered journalists, it has a successful impunity program where it sends in missions to investigate, turn the evidence over to government prosecutors, and then beat on the government until the murderers are successfully prosecuted.
I told IAPA delegates, who have fought Peron in Argentina, Pinochet in Chile, Castro in Cuba, Chavez in Venezuela, and narco forces in Columbia, that I never thought I would see a journalist imprisoned for so long in the U.S. for such a ridiculously unjust crime: Josh's refusal on journalistic principle to refuse to release videotapes he took at a 2005 demonstration in San Francisco.
Josh's alleged "crime" was a local issue, involving a play by the local cops and Police Officers Association, to circumvent the state shield law and take the phony case to the Bush Attorney General in Washington. To the Bushies, the case was red meat: they could send a "don't mess with us or else" message to San Francisco, center of anti-war dissent and protest, and to journalists throughout the land. The Bush/Rove/Gonzales firing of the eight U.S. attorneys general for political reasons only makes the point in 96 point Tempo Bold that Josh is a victim of the Bush law of intended political consequences. For more on IAPA, go to its website at IAPA.com.
I think we need an IPI-type mission to free Josh Wolf. Meanwhile, join the vigil and join the Liz email tree: email@example.com. B3
WHAT: Vigil for Josh during mediation
WHERE: Phillip Burton Federal Building , 450 Golden Gate Avenue, in the San Francisco Civic Center
WHEN: Vigil starts around 8 a.m. and will continue through the day.
WHAT: Daily vigil for Josh
WHERE: Phillip Burton Federal Building, 450 Golden
WHEN: Begins around 9 a.m. each weekday until Josh is released