James’ Staff Report for August 2016

Since this is the first staff report we are posting online, I’m going back to January to catch up with all I’ve been doing. I’ve taken on several tasks related to the radio project, while continuing a few CO cases and doing legal education.

Read Rena’s Staff report here. 

Upwave Radio Project

Upwave Media is a project of CCA that seeks to provide alternatives to the current military-corporate controlled media environment (find more info in Rena’s staff report). My work with Upwave focuses on radio programming, with my work involving both content creation, technical work, as well as distribution of radio content to radio stations around the world.

James Branum set up a shortwave mobile broadcast station at the 2015 Peace Festival in OKC.

James Branum set up a mobile amateur radio station at the 2015 Peace Festival in OKC.

“mobile amateur radio station

mobile amateur radio station

mobile amateur radio station

“mobile amateur radio station

“mobile amateur radio station

I currently produce the following CCA Upwave Media programming:

    • Exploring Aspergia – a positive look at the world of aspergers/autism syndrome (and neurodiversity more generally)
    • GI Rights Radio – a series of programs on both legal and cultural topics relating to the experience of US servicemembers struggling in a system of injustice
    • Segments on CCA issues for other shows
    • Other programming as approved by project team
    • Reformatting and editing of CCA Upwave Media content (such as into magazine shows under the Broad Spectrum Radio umbrella, which is a non-CCA project of mine dedicated to the distribution end of things)

I also work with Rena, CCA’s Program Director, on the following tasks:

  • Occasional remote original live broadcast/production of events or projects, via shortwave or live streaming.
  • Arranging CCA Upwave Media shows and other content via AM and SW radio
  • Training and other support to our volunteer producers for development and distribution of CCA Upwave content
  • Marketing and promotion of CCA Upwave Media content via various media platforms

Currently Upwave programming is distributed in the following ways:

  • International shortwave radio stations*:
    • WBCQ (Monticello, Maine, USA)
    • WINB (Red Lion, Pennsylvania, USA)
    • Channel 292 (Rohrbach, Bavaria, Germany)
    • Unique Radio 3210 (Halls Creek/Tamsworth, New South Wales, Australia)
  • Local Radio station: KTLR 890 AM in Oklahoma City
  • Micropower (Part 15) radio station: Sonador Radio, launching soon in Far Northwest Oklahoma City
  • Online via podcasts (hosted at www.upwavemedia.com) and Mixcloud streaming services (www.mixcloud.com/BroadSpectrumRadio/)

*Thus far, we have heard back from listeners in many locations including: Germany, Finland, France, UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Australia, Indonesia, China, Russia and the USA.


Legal Support Project

Most of my work these days in the legal arena is in consulting with paralegal counselors from the GI Rights Network, a nationwide network of groups that assist US servicemembers with seeking a discharge and/or protecting their rights to due process. Beyond this work, I am still working on a limited number of conscientious objector and war resister cases, one of which is likely to go to trial at a US Army court-martial later this fall.

Legal Education: In May I presented a teleseminar for attorneys and paralegals to the 2016 GI Rights Network annual conference. The topic was “Defenses, Mitigation, Extenuation and Aggravation in absence-related military offenses.” I also have written an article on the same topic for the upcoming issue of On Watch, the journal of the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild.

In August, along with Maria Santelli (Executive Director of the Center for Conscience and War in Washington, DC), I participated in a panel discussion on conscientious objection following a free public screening of a documentary film about Muhammad Ali’s legal fight for CO status after he refused to fight in the Vietnam Wan   The showing of The Trials of Muhammed Ali in Oklahoma City had a primarily African American audience that contributed to a very lively and engaging conversation. We audio-recorded that and are distributing it through our Upwave Media project.

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CCA Executive & Legal Director