Sign the petition for Rasmea Odeh

Drop the Charges against Rasmea Yousef Odeh

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Signing the petition will generate a direct email to:

  • U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois Barry Jonas
  • U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
  • and other public officials

demanding that the charges against Rasmea Odeh be dropped.



Full petition text 

We, the undersigned, demand that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade stop the indictment of Rasmea Yousef Odeh and drop all federal charges. 

Sixty-six year old Rasmea Odeh is a Palestinian-American feminist, activist, educator and community leader. She has served as the associate director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago since 2004. For the past 10 years, Rasmea has built unprecedented community support for close to 600 Arab immigrant women on issues related to English literacy, gender violence, inter-generational cultural conflicts, racial profiling, immigrant rights, and access to social and economic resources. She has established community-wide education projects related to civil and human rights, social justice, and community economic development and workshops that allow Arab immigrant women to tell, write, and perform their immigration stories while improving their writing skills. In 2013, Rasmea received the "Outstanding Community Leader Award" from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, which described her as a woman who has "dedicated over 40 years of her life to the empowerment of Arab women, first in her homes of Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon, where she was an activist, and then the past 10 years in Chicago."

On October 22, the Department of Homeland Security arrested Rasmea in her home for alleged immigration fraud as part of an ongoing witch-hunt that targets Arabs and Muslims who criticize U.S. and Israeli policy and labels them “terrorists.”

Rasmea has been demanding justice for Palestinians for most of her life. Like the experience of approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza, she spent time as a political prisoner in Israeli jails in the 1970’s. There, she was violently tortured and humiliated-- despite the international legal prohibition on torture and ill-treatment.

Like their Israeli ally, the U.S. federal government has a history of targeting individuals who express public support for Palestine and over and over, Palestinian and Arab American activists are disproportionately targeted in such cases. According to the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, their organization, in partnership with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Palestine Solidarity Legal Support (PSLC) in collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild and other organizations, “has documented over 75 cases of intimidation and legal bullying in 2013 alone. These include perceived surveillance, FBI contacts, and discriminatory enforcement of laws against advocates for Palestinian rights.” Now decades in the making, this U.S. government strategy targets Palestinian immigrants, Palestinian Americans, and their supporters in order to quell any and all support for Palestinian rights in the U.S. and globally. According to CCR and PSLC, it is no coincidence that federal prosecutors are now targeting Rasmea, who is a pillar in the same community where 23 anti-war and Palestinian rights activists, many who’s homes were raided by the FBI, were subpoenaed to testify before a Grand Jury in 2010. There have been no indictments against the 23 activists subpoenaed presumably because of a lack of evidence.

The U.S. government's portrayal of Palestinians as violent and inhuman fuels the case against Rasmea and as a result, the U.S. mainstream betrays Palestinians like Rasmea, leaving them with little support. The corporate media makes matters worse. By telling the story of Rasmea’s past as though she was a possible terrorist legitimately and legally arrested by the Israeli government, the media covers up that Israel occupies Palestinian land and arrests and tortures Palestinians systematically and illegally. The sensationalized media portrayal of Rasmea’s “terrorist past” dehumanizes Rasmea and justifies the ongoing state violence committed against her and the larger Arab American and Arab immigrant communities.

We stand in solidarity with Rasmea Yousef Odeh!
We demand the charges placed on Rasmea Yousef Odeh to be dropped immediately!

Petition signers

Last updated October 23, 2014.

# Name City State Organization
751 Suzanne Hedrick Nobleboro ME
752 Valerie Heinonen NY NY
753 Jenny Heinz New York NY
754 Anne Helms Corral de Tierra CA
755 Gail Hollander Boulder CO
756 ROBIN HOWLETT Sacramento CA
757 Sherry Hutchison Des Moines IA
758 Sheila Incognito Philadelphia PA
759 Wendy Johnson-Niblick Clovis CA
760 Mary-Ann Jones Ashland OR
761 Mary Anne joyce Portland OR
762 omar kalam Fridley MN
763 Nancy Kelly Fresno CA
764 Zeinab Khalil ann arbor OH
765 Phyllis Kuehn Novato CA
766 Marilyn Levin Ashland OR
767 Kim Loftness Shoreline WA
768 Leslie Lomas Boulder CO WILPF
769 Therese MacKenzie Chicago IL
770 Natasha Mansur-Ruf Brown Deer WI
771 Denise Marlowe inver grove hts. MN
772 Erika McClinton Cleveland OH
773 Tony McNicholl Holyhead United Kingdom
774 Lisle Merriman Shaker Heights OH
775 colleen mills livonia MI
776 Tracy Molm Minneapolis MN
777 Kevin Moore Blackpool United Kingdom Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Dundee)
778 Margaret Moreland Vancouver WA
779 Sue and John Morris Marshfield VT
780 Fred Nagel Rhinebeck NY
781 Pat Nottingham Highlands Ranch CO
782 William Nottingham Highlands Ranch CO
783 Genevieve O''Hara Sunset Hills MO WILPF, CAll to Action
784 Tema Okun Durham NC
785 Wren Osborn El Cajon CA
786 Lorna Paisley East Dubuque IL
787 Sally Peck Livonia MI
788 Annegret Pollard East Hardwick VT
789 annette quintero Miami FL
790 Linda Ray San francisco CA
791 Sarah Jane Rhee Chicago IL
792 Bobby Righi Seattle WA
793 Jennifer Rojas San Diego CA UCSD Student and Worker Collective
794 Dorah Rosen Davenport CA Jewish Voice for Peace Santa Cruz
795 Anne Rosenzweig Morgan Hill CA
796 Lourdes Sadanaga Davis CA
797 Laura Saunders San Francisco CA
798 Prudence Scarritt Boulder CO
799 Renate Sharp St Paul MN
800 Tina Shelton Havertown PA