Archive for the Press Releases Category

Travis Bishop’s new blog

Posted in Press Releases on May 3, 2010 by James M. Branum

Just wanted to let everyone know that Travis has a new blog set up at TravisBishop.wordpress.com. This will likely be the last post at this location.

But for now, I want to say my deepest gratitude to the many, many people that stood behind Travis during his case. There are so many people who stood with us and we are forever grateful that we weren’t in this fight by ourselves.

Most of all though, I want to thank Travis for taking the stand he took. I am awed by his courage and for his willingness to suffer for what is right.

This fight ain’t over though. We are gearing up for the appeals process and hope you’ll continue to stand with Travis. More information on the case and how you can support it can be found at the website for the Oklahoma Center for Conscience.

Thanks,
James M. Branum, civilian defense attorney for Travis Bishop

Thank you message from Travis Bishop

Posted in Press Releases on May 3, 2010 by James M. Branum

From: Thank you!

Here’s the deal: I’ve been trying so hard to write a ‘Thank You’ letter to everyone that supported me throughout this ordeal, and it’s so damn difficult to articulate everything that everyone has done for me. I’ve been trying so hard not to leave anyone out, and it’s impossible. So I will do the absolute best that I can, and if anyone feels left out, please contact me and I will apologize.

Amnesty International, Courage To Resist, Veterans For Peace, Christians For Peace, Disposable Warriors and a host of other organizations are responsible for rallying supporters to my cause. I am deeply in your debt. Thank you so, so much for believing in me and supporting me.

GI Coffeehouses Under The Hood Café, (Ft. Hood), and Coffee Strong, (Ft. Lewis), were instrumental in protesting my incarceration and getting the word out to everyone who would listen. Words cannot express my gratitude.

James Branum and Chuck Luther, you both should know just how much you mean to me. You guys were in my corner during my darkest times in that facility, and you always brought me good news and hope for the future. You are my best allies and my dear friends. Thank you both so much.

To every individual supporter and sympathizer, I thank you so much for your letters, comments, thoughts and prayers. I absolutely drew all my strength from each and every one of you. I wish I could thank every one of you personally.

I know for a fact that I left people out, and all I can say is that I love, admire and respect everyone who supported me. If I left you out, please accept my apologies. Some of my things were lost in transit so I don’t have everyone’s names anymore. Please forgive me for the lateness of this thank you letter.

Again, thank you to everyone. You are all the reason that I was released early. The only one who DIDN’T get me out early was ME.

Hopes and prayers for the future,

-Travis

Press Release- Afghanistan War Resister Travis Bishop Released From Fort Lewis Brigade

Posted in Press Releases on March 25, 2010 by James M. Branum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Afghanistan War Resister Travis Bishop Released From Fort Lewis Brigade

Media Contact: Seth Manzel, Director, Coffee Strong 253-228-8912

A celebration of Bishop’s release with local supporters will take place at Coffee Strong in Lakewood, WA on Sunday, March 28.

March 25, 2010
Fort Lewis, Washington – War Resister and conscientious objector Travis Bishop was released from the stockade at Fort Lewis Thursday morning.

Bishop originally was sentenced to 12 months in prison during his court-martial at Fort Hood, Texas for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan for reasons of conscience. He later received a three-month reduction in sentence due to a successful clemency application to the Commanding General at Fort Hood, as well as receiving extra time off for good behavior. Bishop served a total of seven months and 12 days of confinement. He also received reduction of rank from Sergeant to Private and a pending Bad Conduct Discharge.

While under confinement, Travis Bishop was recognized by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience and updated his blog from the Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility. He also received support from hundreds of people from around the world who wrote letters of encouragement for him and also to military authorities calling for his release.

Bishop spoke out about the inhumane conditions at the Fort Lewis stockade, which produced some reform in treatment of prisoners at the facility. Bishop was placed on the facility’s “most difficult” prisoners list for these efforts.

Local supporters of Bishop are planning a celebration to take place at Coffee Strong, beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 28. Coffee Strong is located at 15109 Union Ave SW, Lakewood, SW, next to Subway. Staff will provide refreshments and Bishop will speak at that time for public comment only. He will not be available prior to 3 p.m. on March 28.

For more information or to schedule an individual interview with either Bishop or his defense team, please contact Seth Manzel at 253-228-8912 or attorney James Branum at 405-476-5620.

Celebrate the soon-to-be liberation of Afghan War Resister Travis Bishop!

Posted in Press Releases on March 23, 2010 by James M. Branum

You are invited to a celebration of the release of war resister
TRAVIS BISHOP
from the Fort Lewis Stockade

Friends and local supporters of Travis Bishop are invited to a celebration starting at 3 p.m. On Sunday, March 28th at Coffee Strong, (15109 Union Avenue Southwest, Lakewood, WA, near Fort Lewis).

This event will be Travis’ first public speaking event since his release from the stockade at Fort Lewis.

Local supporters are encouraged to come and show your support. Admission is free but donations are welcome to help Travis with his legal fees and to help him get reestablished in his civilian life.

BACKGROUND: In 2009, Travis Bishop received a 12 month sentence in a court-martial at Fort Hood for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan for reasons of conscience. He was sent to the notorious NWJRCF (Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility) at Fort Lewis to do his time.

While in the brig, Travis Bishop was recognized by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience and wrote a blog from jail.
He also received support from hundreds of people from around the world who wrote both letters of encouragement to him but also wrote letters to the Fort Hood Commanding General asking for Travis to be released from prison. Bishop also spoke out about the bad conditions at the Fort Lewis brig, which resulted in some reforms at the facility as well as Travis being placed on the facility’s “most difficult” prisoners list.

In February 2010, Travis Bishop was granted a 3 month reduction in his sentence by the Fort Hood Commanding General as a result of a successful clemency application. He is scheduled to be released this week from the stockade.

Following his release, Travis hopes to continue to speak out about conscientious objection, as well as to pursue a career in country
music.

PRESS: Members of the press are encouraged to come to the celebration. Individual interviews with either Travis or his defense team can be scheduled by contacting Coffee Strong at (253) 581-1565 or James Branum at (405)476-5620.

For more information:

Seattle and National Press Coverage re: Abuse Allegations at Fort Lewis Brig

Posted in Press Releases with tags , , , on October 14, 2009 by James M. Branum

Quite a bit has happened over the last week on the case.

First, here are the press releases we have sent out:

Fort Lewis Soldiers abused in the brig (October 8, 2009)

Fort Lewis continues to deny prisoners right to counsel (October 13, 2009)

Here are the stories that have ran in the press:

Tacoma News-Tribune: Lawyer says rights violated in brig

KIRO: Attorney: 2 Soldiers Jail At Fort Lewis Mistreated

KPLU: Ft. Lewis Prison Complaints

PRESS RELEASE: Travis Bishop held incommunicado at Fort Lewis Brig, Attorneys ask why?

Posted in Press Releases on September 18, 2009 by James M. Branum

ARMY PRISONERS ISOLATED AT FORT LEWIS, DENIED RIGHT TO LEGAL COUNSEL

September 17th, 2009 – Fort Lewis, WA – War resistor Travis Bishop is being held incommunicado, in the Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Lewis, and is even being denied his legal right to counsel, a violation of the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution. Attorney Legrand Jones was denied access to Bishop, on the grounds that he is on an unnamed and unobtainable “watchlist,” which constitutes deprivation of counsel. Since his incarceration, Bishop’s condition is unclear due to being completely cut off from the public.

Fellow incarcerated soldier Leo Church has been able to reach his lawyer, but the call was monitored by a guard, violating his attorney-client privilege.

Both Bishop and Church have been prevented from adding any names to their respective “authorized contacts” lists (even for family members),which effectively cuts them off from almost all contact with the outside world. Mail and commissary funds sent by friends and supporters will likely be “returned to sender” due to this cruel and inhumane policy.

According to the lead attorney on the cases of Bishop and Church, James Branum, the actions of officials at Fort Lewis have violated his clients’ constitutional rights.

“Bishop and Church’s defense team and supporters are in the process of negotiating with Ft. Lewis officials to ensure transparency and that Bishop and Church’s legal rights are being met. The unusual circumstances of isolation of these soldiers is unquestionably illegal,” Branum said. “But if Fort Lewis doesn’t change its ways, we will be forced to go to court and demand justice.”

War resistor, and according to Amnesty International, prisoner of conscience, Travis Bishop arrived in Fort Lewis September 9th to serve a 12 month sentence in the Regional Correctional Facility. Bishop refused orders to Afghanistan based on religious reasons. He was stationed at Fort Hood, TX and was court marshaled by the Army for his beliefs.

He joined Leo Church, another Fort Hood soldier who went AWOL (Absent Without Leave) to prevent his wife and children from becoming homeless. Leo received 8 months jail time because he put the safety and welfare of his children over his obligation to the Army. Leo tried to get help from his unit, but was denied.

For additional information contact Seth Manzel at GI Voice or visit
https://freetravisbishop.wordpress.com/ or http://freeleochurch.wordpress.com/ (You can donate to Travis Bishop’s defense fund at: http://tr.im/donate2travis)

G.I. Voice is a place for service members and their families around Fort Lewis to gather and share information, as well as a resource for those facing problems with service. It is the parent organization for COFFEE STRONG, a GI coffee house located outside of Fort Lewis.

Contact:Seth Manzel, Executive Director
GI Voice
253-228-8912

James M. Branum
Civilian Defense Attorney for Travis Bishop and Leo Church
405-476-5620 or 866-933-2769
girightslawyer@gmail.com