Do you know the tale of Josh Wolf? He’s a video blogger who filmed people taking part in a protest and who was then ordered to turn over his footage to a Grand Jury investigating the protest. He refused, citing journalistic privilege, and promptly found out the government doesn’t consider videocasters to be journalists, at least not when it doesn’t want to. He’s currently serving his indefinite sentence in Dublin, California; he’s been told he’ll be released when the Grand Jury ends, which is projected for July of next year.
At the recent Vloggie Awards, Josh won the People’s Choice Award for Best Male Vlogger (they split these things up by gender? You’ve got to be kidding me!) and his video, All Empires Must Fall, won the Judge’s Choice Award for Most Controversal Video, which it undoubtably was. The goverment declined to let Josh out to pick up his award, figuring no doubt that someone there would surely throw a blanket over him and smuggle him offshore to some copyright-free banana republic, from whence he would fire YouTubes of such intensity that they would shake the very foundation of the nation.
Or maybe they just thought nah, fuck ‘im!
It seems like mere moments ago that I was here in this venue for blogger con. I remember telling my story about how the federal government was trying to send me to prison for refusing to turn over my unpublished material and testify in front of a grand jury for asserting that I am a journalist, and for refusing to be an agent for the government by providing intelligence to aid in an anarchist witch hunt. Some were shocked by my story, others were not surprised that the government would go to such lengths, and still others maintained disbelief, preferring to think of me as the boy who cried wolf, rather than opening themselves up to the idea that their government would do such a thing.
That weekend at vlogger con was one of the best in my life. It was euphoric getting to hang out and party with so many stellar individuals, and I am disheartened that I can only join you in sprit to tonight. I’ve always heard that the best par t of award shows are the after parties and I’m sure that it will be a rocking good time. I’ll be there for the next one.
Thanks for the awards guys. It feels good to know that I’ve been able to stir up a bit of controversy in the blogosphere and I’m touched by being awarded best male blogger.
I’d like to thank everyone who has blogged or vlogged about my situation, whether you are in agreement with what I’m doing or not, and I’d also like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this endeavor, whether its through sending me books or letters, donating money to my legal fund or helping out with my blog, wiki or the various projects I’ve been involved with.
Thank you all and have fun tonight I’ll be out soon enough.