An Open Letter from Mark “Migs” Neiweem of the NATO 5

NOTE: For the past 2 months, we have been promoting call-in campaigns in support of Mark Neiweem, aka Migs, who was put in solitary confinement for his anarchist affiliations. Yesterday we posted the good news that he will be released from prison in December, only one month past his original parole date.

Another young man at the prison was put into solitary confinement under the same “disciplinary violation” of being an anarchist. He is serving time for DUI-related offenses, not political charges, so we did not include him directly in our campaign, although he did receive legal support from the same attorney.

Now that Migs has resolved his own situation and has a release date in sight, he requested that we publish the following letter in support of his comrade. Although not a political prisoner per se, he is still being held wrongfully in solitary confinement for expressing his political beliefs and could use your letters and good wishes.

Migs at Pontiac

Photo of Migs courtesy of the Illinois Department of Corrections


Greetings of solidarity, comrades. I sincerely hope this find all of you in the very best of health and highest of spirits.

I have had much difficulty getting this message to individuals because much of my outgoing mail seems to vanish between my cell and their mail boxes – seemingly always the letters which those doing the censoring don’t like, including all attempts to express the message in this open letter. I am now reaching out publicly and hoping not to get retaliated against this time for making a public statement while in prison. We shall see.

As I sit here, sleep-deprived and skinny, scruffy and underfed, I am not alone. I am not alone in the beautiful sense that so many amazing folks stand with me – many from the beginning of the NATO 5 cases, many along the way, and many new folks because of my being thrown in solitary confinement. I am so very fortunate for this and love all of you.

When I say I am not alone, I also mean it in a very literal sense. When I was taken to seg, I was taken with another man – an anarchist named Patrick Owens #M36667 AKA “Yuri.” Yuri was told lies about me, intimidated and coerced during his interrogation. He was given a clear opportunity to deny being an Anarchist or to cooperate in their efforts to manufacture charges against me. He chose to state that he is, in fact, a proud Anarchist, won’t be intimidated or shamed for it, and stands in solidarity with me and revolution and justice, no matter what they say.

Though we are physically divided he, too, is skinny, hungry, and tired. He is not recognized as a political prisoner like I am because his cases aren’t of a political nature. However, he is being persecuted for free speech and his beliefs and, to be more specific, because he is an Anarchist who won’t turn on his and my and all of our shared dreams of a free world.

He is an Anarchist, an activist, and he is in solitary confinement for this. He is here for me and I stand with him. I ask those who oppose being housed in solitary confinement for being an anarchist, or anyone else who opposes colonization, patriarchy, homophobia, sexism, racism, imperialism, genocide, mass incarceration, environmental destruction, capitalism, and all other destructive elements, institutions, and practices – as both Yuri and I do – to please stand with him, too, as we face these uncertain times together.

Thank you for all of your letters and encouragement. I may be skinny and cold and physically weak, but I am strong in mind and spirit. This I can without a doubt say is because I’ve been given the support, love, and solidarity I need to survive and overcome.

Thank you. I love all of you. Dot your I’s, cross your T’s, and Always circle your A’s!

Until we are all free, we are all imprisoned.

In struggle and solidarity,

Comrade Migs (NATO 5 political prisoner)

Write to Migs:

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

Write to Yuri:

Patrick Owens
Pontiac Correctional Center
PO Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764


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