9.27.2008

updates on robin long and james burmeister, how to write them

I've been meaning to post this for ages, and finally a nudge from M Yass, who wants to write Robin Long, got it out of draft. (Thanks!)

From an email from James Branum, Robin Long's lawyer, to Robin's supporters.
I found out that Robin has moved to Miramar Naval Consolidated Brig near San Diego (the Army is running out of space to put all of their AWOL's and Deserters).

He can receive letters at:

Robin Long
PO Box 452136
San Diego, CA 92145-2136
USA


More info on mail, visitation, etc. is here.

I also talked to the brig today. Books can only be sent commercially by a publisher or book store. I have about a dozen books sent to Robin that he couldn't take with him to Miramar, so I'm going to sell those on Ebay (I'll let folks know the address) and use the funds to buy him new books that he hasn't read yet. [Ed note: "couldn't take with him" means the Army trashed Robin's books".]

Also someone earlier sent Robin an amazon gift card at the jail, which would have been great except they don't have internet access at the jail. In the future, if folks want to just buy him amazon credit, then send the card either to me or to Courage to Resist and we'll buy books for Robin with it and have them shipped to him.

Lastly, I'm going to travel to San Diego later this month to visit Robin and possibly put together a support protest in the area. I'll be in touch soon with more details.

James Branum (Robin's lawyer)

P.S. Please pass Robin's address on to folks who would write him.

And an old update from James Burmeister's support team.
It has been some time now since our last update on James and this is due only to the fact that things move slowly when one is on the inside.

As many of you may already be aware, James has been held in a medium security military prison on AWOL charges since his Special Court martial,, which took place at Fort Knox (KY) on July 16th. James was given a 6month sentence and a bad conduct discharge.

News from James has been sparse. He tries to be in touch with his family when he can.

Those of you who know James or who have had the fortune of meeting him will be happy to hear that his strong character, his patience and honestly are all serving him well as he awaits the end of his sentence. James was adamant about his resolve to not commit war crimes and take part in actions he deemed to be unnecessary, illegal and immoral. He was well aware that his non-compliance with orders may complicate his life and end his military career but this was a price James was willing to pay if it meant not promoting unnecessary violence and inhumane acts.

James was caught in a firestorm of controversy for having been outspoken with the media and we believe this to be part of the reason for the severe steps the military ended up taking against him.

James voluntarily turned himself in to the gates of Fort Knox earlier this year, on March4th and since that date has gone through unimaginable challenges to progressively put this experience behind him.

James continues to suffer from PTSD.

He is in a 15-person cell. He continues to have difficulties sleeping and has taken on shifts of labour to stay occupied and show good behaviour. He works long shifts every week, either dish washing or doing janitorial duties.

He has a few odd health ailments due to the lack of easy medical attention but he is hanging in there overall.

James can receive mail and loves to hear from everyone. He has received much mail already and these letters continue to give him the encouragement he needs to pull through.

If you are considering writing, or sending more correspondence please do:

James Burmeister
Box A
Building 7741 PMB 15
1158 Gold Vault Rd.
Fort Knox, Kentucky
40121-5184
USA


If you write to James:
-please do not include anything but the paper you yourself have used to write.
-do not send stamps, envelopes, writing paper, stickers or anything other than a simple letter.
There are very strict rules about what inmates can and cannot receive. Anything more will not make its way to James.

We also know that James' Defense Counsel is preparing a Clemency package to represent James' case to the Commander and see whether or not a softening of the sentence and discharge is possible. This is a standard procedure in a case like this, but our hopes are very realistic and as such, barely there. Still, all of you who have submitted important letters in support of James' clemency, we sincerely thank you. They have all been received and are now in the hands of James' attorney.

The next logical step, should James not obtain Clemency, would be to proceed to the Courts of Appeal. I am not sure if this is something that James, his family or appellant lawyer will suggest or want to carry on with.

I will try to keep you all posted as details emerge.

In the interest of not going on too long, I will cut it at that.

Thanks again to all of you, you know who you are, for your words of support, your letters, your time.

We expect James to be released before the new year.

In peace and friendship,

Nina

I'm sorry that it took me so long to post this. I'm going to write them both this weekend.

2 comments:

impudent strumpet said...

Wouldn't it be more efficient to just set up an amazon wishlist?

Cornelia said...

Courage to Resist workers have made it possible for people to write Robin at robinlong@couragetoresist.org also and they will print the letters and send them to him by regular post / mailing. That's great since that makes it easier and faster to write him and for people outside the US or Canada, like myself, it also saves the expenses for post mailing overseas. I just wrote him at that email-address and got this automatic reply from Courage to Resist:

Thank you for your message to Robin Long. Of course Robin doesn't have access to the Internet while in the military stockade. However, Courage to Resist will be printing out your message and postal mailing it soon. We know that Robin takes great strength from your letters. Thank you again for your support of the troops who refuse to fight.

I think it's great that they provide this possibility, too. Hopefully that will encourage more people to write him...