Defend The Press

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Defend The Press was a coalition organized in late January 2007, by the Center for Media and Democracy and Sarah Olson. Defend the Press organized journalists, press organizations and the public at large in a successful and brief campaign that asked the US Army to drop its subpoena of journalists including Sarah Olson, an independent print and radio journalist based in Oakland, California, in the court martial of Iraq war resister Lieutenant Ehren Watada. Olson had interviewed Watada in May 2006, and in June he announced he would not go to war in Iraq, challenging its legality. Watada's Army court martial begins February 5, 2007, at Fort Lewis, Washington.

On January 29, just six days after the public launch of the Defend the Press campaign, which dumped thousands of angry emails into the email addresses of the Army Court Martial press officers, the U.S. military and Bush Administration agreed to drop two charges that carried a maximum of two years in prison against Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada. As part of the agreement, two reporters — Sarah Olson and Gregg Kakesako — who had been issued subpoenas to appear before the court-martial did not have to testify.

See the video of the National Press Club news conference announcing this victory here: <>

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