UPDATE: Mark of the NATO 5 To Spend Six Months in Solitary for Anarchism

Mark “Migs” Neiweem of the NATO 5 has been in solitary confinement for nearly two months. Why? For being in possession of Anarchist symbols (including the Anarchist Black Cross logo) and Anarchist literature. Please call or write in today to demand these politically-motivated disciplinary actions be reversed.

Anarchism!

Since our previous call-in campaign, Mark has been found guilty on two disciplinary violations:

  • Gang or Unauthorized Organization Activity, for his possession of “unauthorized” Anarchist symbols and friendship with another Anarchist in the prison
  • Dangerous Written Material, for his possession of “unauthorized” Anarchist literature

These rules exist to limit gang activity within the prison but are being used in this case to target Anarchists and label them as an imminent threat to the facility. He is still being held in the most restrictive type of cell within solitary, behind a solid steel door.

Mark’s punishment for being found guilty of Anarchism is: 6 months in solitary confinement; 2 months of yard restriction (no time outside); 6 months restricted visits; and he is losing 3 months time off for good behavior, which will see him released next February instead of mid-November.

This punishment is relatively light compared to what they were threatening, but still unacceptable. Mark should serve NO time in solitary confinement for his political beliefs. Mark should NOT be charged under a disciplinary policy intended to prevent gang recruitment for his friendship with another imprisoned Anarchist. Mark should lose NONE of his time off for good behavior simply because he was reading books that the Pontiac Correctional Center mail room did not object to passing along to him. Furthermore, Mark should NOT be punished for his own political writings – such as this communiqué – which are critical of our government, the justice system, and the prison-industrial complex, but do not pose an imminent threat to prison security.

They want us to accept these terms and cut our losses, but we do not believe this is a time for retreat. Allowing prison officials to target and punish Anarchists above and beyond state-mandated sentencing sets a dangerous precedent for others currently trapped in the system.

While the lawyers pursue legal avenues to appeal these charges and his sentencing, we once again ask you 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 confinement for his political views?
  • Why is Mark Neiweem being punished for having literature that was approved by the Pontiac Correctional Center mail room?
  • Why is Mark Neiweem being treated like a gang member for his political affiliations?
  • Why is Mark Neiweem still being held behind a steel door within solitary confinement, despite no record of violence?
  • 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 uphold his parole date of November 12!

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

By calling on Director Godinez and Governor Quinn to demand answers, we are holding them accountable for their treatment of Mark and all other prisoners in Illinois. Using the force of our network, we will show them that arbitrary punitive measures will neither 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

One more thing!

Please continue to write to Mark while he waits in solitary. He has plenty of books but has requested photos, zines, essays, and news articles (preferably positive ones). All of the above should be printed on regular computer paper with no staples, stickers, or tape.

Mailing address:

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

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5 responses to “UPDATE: Mark of the NATO 5 To Spend Six Months in Solitary for Anarchism

  1. Sisters and Brothers:

    The attempt to criminalize political dissent and to equate the espousing of anarchist or communist philosophy with criminal activity has a long and sordid history in this country. Contact the Partisan Defense Committee
    http://www.partisandefense.org/
    and see if they would be interested in taking up this case; they won a major victory back in the Reagan days when the US “Justice” Dept. tried to pin a “terrorist” label on the Spartacist League and other socialist groups. The ACLU should be contacted as well. This is a slam-dunk case, with lots of precedent (equating communism with terrorism, criminal activity, etc.). It’s a First Amendment issue par excellence. Good luck and please keep us informed!

    Workers of the World, Unite!

    Independent Workers Party of Chicago

  2. 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

  3. Pingback: CALL-IN SUCCEEDS: Mark “Migs” Neiweem (NATO 5) to be Released in December | #OpPenPal

  4. Pingback: An Open Letter from Mark “Migs” Neiweem of the NATO 5 | #OpPenPal

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