by Amanda Witherell
U.S. District Court Judge William H. Alsup has again denied release of Josh Wolf, the 24-year-old journalist in jail. Wolf's attorneys had filed a Grumbles motion which argued that no matter how long Wolf is in jail, he will not change his position. Therefore, his incarceration is undue punishment and illegal. Judge Alsup ruled Tuesday, Jan. 30 that it's still possible jail could have a coercive effect and Wolf is to stay put.
On February 7, if Wolf is still behind bars he'll have outlegged Houston's Vanessa Leggett as the longest journalist ever incarcerated. And journalism isn't even a crime!
Wolf was subpoenaed by a Federal grand jury for exercising his First Amendment rights and withholding raw video footage and refusing to testify about what was on the tape. It was shot during a July 2005 G-8 rally in San Francisco that turned violent: a San Francisco Police officer was seriously wounded and a cruiser destroyed and the authorities have always claimed they want to see if those acts were captured by Wolf's camera. Wolf has always maintained that they weren't, and the intimation has been that this is an attempt to coerce Wolf into identifying other protesters at the rally.
In other freedom of the press news, the subpoena for journalist Sarah Olson has been dropped. Lieutenant Ehren Watada, who was court-martialed for refusing deployment to Iraq and speaking out against the illegal war, has stated that everything he told Olson was true, so now she doesn't have to go to court and say it or go to jail for not saying it. Hooray!