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.

Mark is STILL in solitary confinement and STILL has not been charged with any misconduct to warrant this transfer. In retaliation for our efforts on his behalf, he has been moved to a filthier, more restrictive part of the solitary confinement unit and is now being held behind a steel door. He is now totally isolated as he cannot see or hear other prisoners or staff as they walk by his cell. Prison officials have installed a “feeding box” so he does not even have contact with the guard who brings him his food. This is the absolute highest security setting in Illinois, being used against someone who has not been charged with violating any prison rule.

Mark is feeling strong and in excellent spirits, but we must demand answers and action on his behalf. After describing the garbage and the rats in his new housing he says, “No biggie. Just didn’t realize how much better I had it 3 hours ago. :) Anyways, the state may be onto something – a little more abuse and neglect to my basic needs and I might very well start goosestepping to their ways, embrace their rule, and become a flag-waving, Republican-voting capitalist slob. Fingers crossed. A little more and I’ll be fully rehabilitated. :)

As you can see, Mark is not intimidated by these punitive tactics but remains strong in the face of adversity. We need to keep pressuring the state to move him back to medium security and allow him to continue preparing for parole in November.

We are asking every concerned person around the world to call S. A. Godinez, Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, at (217) 558-2200 and Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, at (217) 782-0244 and ask to speak with them, demanding:

  • Why is Mark Neiweem being held in solitary, despite his clean disciplinary record?
  • Why is Mark Neiweem now being held behind a steel door within solitary confinement, despite no record of violence?
  • Is it standard operating procedure to retaliate against a prisoner like Mark Neiweem whose support community advocates on his behalf?
  • Why is Mark Neiweem being denied due process to defend himself against any allegations of misconduct?
  • Why is Mark Neiweem being denied access to resources for his upcoming release, including the GED class he enrolled in and the Narcotics Anonymous meetings he voluntarily attended?
  • Remove Mark from solitary now and send him back to medium security!

Additionally, you can email your concerns to their offices at the following links.

Director Godinez: http://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/contactus/Pages/default.aspx
Governor Quinn: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContacttheGovernor.aspx

A sample letter is provided here:

Dear Director Godinez / Governor Quinn:

I am writing in regards to an inmate at Pontiac Correctional Center, Mark Neiweem (M36200). Until recently, Mark was housed in the Medium Security Unit after nearly a year of pretrial detention at Cook County Jail. His friends and family had noticed a positive change in his attitude since resolving his case and being transferred to Pontiac. He resumed his GED studies, began attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and was making detailed plans for his parole in November and his future beyond that.

As of July 13th, Mark has been moved to a maximum security division at Pontiac, where he is being held in solitary confinement. He has no disciplinary record for violence at Cook County Jail, Stateville, or Pontiac and has not been charged with any misconduct now. He and his legal team have been informed that he is “under investigation” with no further information available. Since we have started advocating on his behalf, he has been moved to an even more restrictive cell within solitary confinement and is now being held behind a steel door.

I would like to know:

Why is Mark being held in solitary, despite his clean disciplinary record?

Why is Mark now being held behind a steel door within solitary confinement, despite no record of violence?

Is it standard operating procedure to retaliate against a prisoner like Mark whose support community advocates on his behalf?

Why is Mark being denied due process to defend himself against any allegations of misconduct?

Why is Mark being denied access to resources for his upcoming release, including the GED class he enrolled in and the Narcotics Anonymous meetings he voluntarily attended?

Mark is outspoken politically but is not a threat to the physical safety of inmates or guards at Pontiac or any other facility. Please transfer him immediately back to medium security so he may resume his GED classes and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, which will allow him to integrate more smoothly into society when he is paroled in November.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

By calling on Director Godinez and Governor Quinn to demand answers, we are holding them accountable for the treatment of Mark and all other prisoners in Illinois. Using the force of our network, we will show them that arbitrary punitive measures will not be overlooked nor tolerated.

Call and write every day until Mark is released from solitary.

Share widely. Repost. Retweet.

For more information on the NATO5 cases, see http://nato5support.wordpress.com

You can write letters of support to Mark here:

Mark Neiweem M36200
Pontiac Correctional Center
PO Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764

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7 responses to “UPDATE: Call/Write-In Campaign – Get Mark Out of Solitary!

  1. I called and the secretary hung up on me after asking me if I was “part of this internet group that is calling to ask questions” and after I said no, that I was Mark’s penpal. She refused to take a message, even though the director was supposedly out for the day, supposedly doesn’t have a voicemail, and standard procedure is for this person to take a message. This was all after she lectured me about how Mark is an adult and that people are in solitary confinement for a reason. I assured her I didn’t call to ask her about her opinion, but to determine what the reason for solitary confinement was.

  2. Pingback: Photo Drive for Mark of the NATO 5, Held in Solitary for Being an Anarchist | #OpPenPal

  3. Pingback: UPDATE: Mark of the NATO 5 To Spend Six Months in Solitary for Anarchism | #OpPenPal

  4. Sisters and Brothers:

    We should organize people to call in to the prison every single day and ask them if Mark Neiweem is still in solitary and if so, why? Why is he being harassed by prison authorities? If they’re going to harass HIM, let us keep the pressure on THEM! What do these scumbags think this is, Nazi Germany? They’d like it to be but that ain’t happening on our watch!
    Thanks for the updates and let’s coordinate our efforts for maximum impact!

    Workers of the World, Unite!

    Independent Workers Party of Chicago

  5. Pingback: NATO 5′s Mark Neiweem Tossed Into Solitary at Pontiac Correctional Center in Illinois for “Crime” of Being an Anarchist | Independent Workers Party of Chicago

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