August FlikShop Drive for Weev – SPECIAL BIRTHDAY EDITION!!

It’s the last week of August and you know what that means – time to FlikShop Weev! Also, his birthday is September 1st, so this is a great way to send birthday greetings. Be creative!

Birthday Boy Weev

Background: we have learned is that Weev is not receiving most of his mail or books. The most reliable way to contact him is through FlikShop, a service that allows you to create customized postcards on your computer or phone that are then printed and sent to inmates – all for under a dollar apiece, postage included.

As such we will be hosting a FlikShop drive for Weev the last week of each month. We ask you to send him at least one card during this week (although feel free to send as many as you like). Just for fun, we’ll choose a photo theme each month.

If you prefer to send a regular postcard or letter, those are always appreciated, we just can’t promise he will ever see them. We also encourage you to write to him during other times of the month, but thought it might be useful to have a structured recurring event.

WHAT: August FlikShop Drive for Weev **SPECIAL BIRTHDAY EDITION**

WHEN: August 24-31


WHO: The entire Internet – tell your friends!


Andrew Auernheimer
FCI Allenwood Low
Federal Correctional Institution
PO Box 1000
White Deer PA 17887

If you buy FlikShop credits in bulk, each individual card is cheaper. Please feel free to send cards to other prisoners on our mailing list while you’re at it!

P.S. You can tweet out the photo(s) you are sending to us @OpPenPal as well as @flikshop.


Manning Sentenced, Confirms Gender Identity

Yesterday, PFC Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, with a possibility of parole after 1/3 of the sentence has been served. She will get nearly 4 years credit for time served, including a 112 day sentence reduction for harsh treatment while in custody.

Today – the day after her sentencing – Manning released a statement confirming her gender as female and requesting feminine pronouns and her preferred name, Chelsea, be used. We respect and honor this request and have updated information throughout the site to reflect her stated preferences. Please see our mailing list for information about addressing letters to Chelsea.

Below is a transcript of the statement read this morning on the Today show by defense attorney David Coombs.

Chelsea Manning

Subject: The Next Stage of My Life

I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.

As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.

Thank you,

Chelsea E. Manning

Photo Drive for Mark of the NATO 5, Held in Solitary for Being an Anarchist

Mark “Migs” Neiweem of the NATO 5 has been in solitary for over a month. Please send him letters and photos (printed on plain computer paper) to give him something to look at in his cramped cell.

Land of the Free

Land of the Free

Prison officials have responded to the call-in campaign we hosted to demand that Mark be released from solitary confinement by bringing two charges against him. These charges are inherently political, claiming that Mark’s reading, writing, and speaking with others about Anarchism, as well as being in possession of Anarchist symbols, is dangerous to the facility. Although Mark is due to be released in November, if these charges are upheld he faces up to two more years at Pontiac – all of it in solitary confinement.

For an example of Mark’s political writing, please see the Open Communiqué we published on his behalf.

Now that charges have been brought against Mark, his legal team is working to defend him against them. In the meantime, Mark is in the worst part of the prison with virtually no human contact. He describes his cell as “a tiny box”:

I reach my arms out and touch both walls with room to spare. I don’t know the dimensions but it’s by far the smallest cell I’ve ever been in. The front is steel plates with some holes drilled in them and the tiny view is of a brick wall 8 feet away. No light but the one they leave on nearly 24 hours a day.

I’ve got my head rested up against a pillow on one wall and my legs straight out, elevated and kicked up on the other wall. My ‘man cave’ has shrunk to a ‘man hole.’

Please send pictures of people, places, and things. These walls are ugly.

While Mark and his lawyers fight these charges, please join us in sending letters and photos to brighten up his ugly little cell. Photos should be printed on regular computer paper, not photo paper.

You can also send a customized postcard with a picture of your own via FlikShop.

Mark Neiweem
Pontiac Correctional Center
PO Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764

Thanks for your support and check back next week for updates.

UPDATE: Call/Write-In Campaign – Get Mark Out of Solitary!

Mark “Migs” Neiweem (of the NATO 5) has been in solitary since July 13th – without being charged with any violation and without a chance to defend himself. We continue to request that you call, e-mail or write the Director of the Department of Corrections to demand that he release Mark from solitary immediately.

Love in a hopeless place

Earlier this week we posted a call to action asking activists and supporters to call and write in to Director Godinez of the Illinois Department of Corrections and Governor Quinn after Mark Neiweem, one of the NATO 5, was unjustly thrown into solitary confinement. He is “under investigation” by the gang intelligence unit for his political speech and an open communiqué he published from behind bars. Continue reading

Mark of the NATO 5 Thrown in Solitary – Call/Write-In Campaign

Call-In Campaign

Mark “Migs” Neiweem (of the NATO 5) has been in solitary since July 13th – without being charged with any violation and without a chance to defend himself. Call, e-mail or write the Director of the Department of Corrections to ask that he release Mark from solitary.

For Mark, being in solitary means reduced visitation, no phone calls, limited commissary, and isolation from all human contact. Mark had enrolled in GED classes and was attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, invaluable resources that he is denied access to while in solitary confinement. Due to his limited ability to communicate with the outside world, Mark’s transfer to solitary was discovered when supporters paid an unannounced visit on July 18. We have been working with his legal team to try to resolve this situation ever since. Continue reading

Best Birthday Wishes for Barrett Brown

On August 14th, Barrett Brown will have been held in pretrial detention for 336 days. It will also be his 32nd birthday.

In collaboration with Free Barrett Brown, OpPenPal is calling on the internet to make this birthday the best possible for Barrett, despite the fact that he remains in federal custody facing absurd charges and excessively harsh sentencing.

Barrett Brown

Who is Barrett Brown?

Barrett Brown, journalist and satirist, has spent almost a year in jail and now faces over 100 years in prison for exercising his journalistic privileges of sharing data with fellow researchers and protecting his sources.

Learn more about Barrett and the charges against him at Free Barrett Brown.

How can you help Barrett have a happy birthday?

  • Send Barrett a birthday card, postcard, or letter at the mailing address below. Greeting cards should not have any glue, glitter, or other extras attached.
  • Create a customized postcard birthday greeting via our friends at FlikShop.
  • If you wish to send Barrett books, please make sure they are paperback and ship directly from a bookseller (i.e. Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, etc) – he particularly enjoys books about history.
  • Donate to Barrett’s commissary fund:

Go to
Select Manfield Law Enforcement Center (TX)
First letter of last name, B
Select Brown, Barrett
Proceed to add funds

  • Tell all your friends to get involved!

Mailing Address:

Barrett Brown #45047177
Mansfield Law Enforcement Center
1601 Heritage Parkway
Mansfield, TX 76063

As always, feel free to tweet pictures of your support efforts to @OpPenPal and @FreeBarrett_.