Animal Rights Activist on Hunger Strike After IL Jail Bans All Books

Via Support Kevin & Tyler:

Kevin Olliff is on hunger strike until the Woodford County Jail book ban is reversed.

It has been over 6 weeks since Michael Waterworth banned all books from entering the Woodford County Jail. The psychological toll of life in a cell without any way to pass the time has been nearly insufferable, as they are forced to waste away without even the most basic form of mental stimulation.

Today Kevin announced that he is prepared to go without food until the book ban is lifted. The hunger strike is effective as of midnight, Wednesday night.

What you can do

Continue to call Michael Waterworth and the jail repeatedly, this time with the added word of caution that they will soon have a sick and dying prisoner if they do not undo the ban. Kevin is prepared to go the distance and not eat until the jail allows prisoners access to books.

  • Jail: 309-467-2116
  • Sheriff Pierceall: 309-467-2375

If you prefer to write, a sample letter to IL Governor Pat Quinn and Eureka Mayor Scott Punke is available here. Continue reading


An Open Letter From Sean Swain

The following is a letter Rachel Allshiny recently received from Sean Swain, an anarchist prisoner who is behind bars indefinitely, after she sent him a copy of her Suicide Girls blog post on prisoner support work.

11 SEP 13

Allshiny + Everyone –

I got your 28 AUG letter.

As you’ll note from my address, I’m now at Ohio’s super-duper-über-mega-ultra-max. It’s a program for scientifically disassembling human personalities.

I seem to be getting my mail. It seems to be timely too. Here, I’m getting zines and other reading materials. I’ve been here 2 weeks, however, and still do not have a large box of my legal documents + addresses + writings, etc.

Having read your article again just now, I see a pattern. The fascists fear ideas. Ideas on paper. Mark’s. Mine. That speaks to the poverty of their own dysfunctional ideology and the unsustainable system it creates.

Rehabilitation: They kick us in the head until we get dumber. 🙂 Continue reading

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. Continue reading

CALL-IN SUCCEEDS: Mark “Migs” Neiweem (NATO 5) to be Released in December

After two months of call-in and letter-writing campaigns to his office, Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Director Godinez has reduced Mark Neiweem’s punishment for possessing anarchist symbols and literature to ONE MONTH revoked good time. Mark will now be released on December 12, 2013.


As a reminder, Mark was moved to solitary confinement in July and later charged with two serious 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

After a hearing with an internal adjustment committee, the disciplinary action taken against Mark for these offenses included 6 months in solitary confinement and 3 months good time revoked, pushing his release date into 2014. Although this was significantly better than initially expected, we continued to pressure IDOC to release Mark on time. Continue reading

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.


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. Continue reading

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