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10am Today: SF Board of Supervisors Hearing: Josh Wolf and the 1st Amendment
by Grand Jury Resistance Project
Thursday Aug 10th, 2006 12:45 AM
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi invites you to participate in a public hearing on a resolution calling for the federal government to respect the First Amendment guarantee of a free press. The hearing will be in the Rules Committee on Thursday, August 10th at 10am in City Hall room 263.
8/10 SF Board of Supervisors Hearing: Josh Wolf and the 1st Amendment

WHAT: Hearing on the First Amendment and the jailing of Josh Wolf
WHEN: Thursday August 10th at 10am
WHERE: City Hall room 263

The Bush administration has taken it's assault on the freedom of the press to San Francisco. On August 1st, video journalist Josh Wolf was jailed for refusing to hand over video footage of a 2005 WTO protest to a federal grand jury.

The incident in question involves damage to an SFPD cruiser, but the federal government is intruding into San Francisco's jurisdiction by using the pretext that the SFPD receives federal funding.

Even more troubling is the precedent this ruling sets: that the government can seize journalists' notes and materials at any time. This would have a chilling effect on the ability of the press to investigate the government.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi invites you to participate in a public hearing on a resolution calling for the federal government to respect the First Amendment guarantee of a free press. The hearing will be in the Rules Committee on Thursday, August 10th at 10am in City Hall room 263.

The Chronicle published an editorial with the headline "Free Josh Wolf:"
For the latest information on Josh Wolf, go to his website:
http://www.joshwolf.net/blog/ and his support site: http://freejosh.pbwiki.com
§SF Resolution sponsored by Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly
by Grand Jury Resistance Project Thursday Aug 10th, 2006 12:46 AM
SF Resolution sponsored by Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly

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.