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
601 Bill Weston Jenison MI
602 Jennifer Whitlock St. Louis MO
603 Patricia Wood Los Gatos CA
604 Peter Wood Cotterill HOOK United Kingdom
606 Erika Zurawski Minneapolis MN
607 Dozthor Zurlent Chicago IL
608 Gabriel Alkon New York NY
609 Saher AlSous Beit Sahour Palestine
610 Kara Asranov Chicago IL
611 Joshua Austin Shawnee KS
612 Hala Aziz St. Louis MO
613 Frances Ballin Cardiff United Kingdom
614 Carol Beesing Akron OH
615 Craig Berman Stony Brook NY
616 faiza blashak elmer NJ
617 Elizabeth Branca Minneapolis MN
618 Elizabeth Burr St. Paul MN
619 Anne Helen Candlin Wigan United Kingdom
620 David Carlton Los Angeles CA
621 Andy Clarno Chicago IL
622 Vergniol-Orengo Claudine Mazamet France
623 Jon Corlett Lakeland FL
624 John Coski Troy MI
625 Chandler Davis Toronto ON
626 Sundus Diab Chicago, IL IL
627 Jean Dickson Buffalo NY
628 David Dobosz Brooklyn NY
629 Ghassan El-Kadri Botucatu Brazil
630 Sharif Elmusa Washington DC
631 Harry Feldman Islamabad Pakistan
632 Tracy Feldman Durham NC
633 Meredith Fenton Oakland CA
634 Mary Fox Annandale VA
635 Alfred Franklin Llano CA
636 Aida Friedenreich Ellendale DE
637 Sandra Gama London United Kingdom
638 Valori George Corvallis OR
639 Piotr Godlewski Warszawa Poland
640 Sue Goldstein Toronto ON
641 Becca Greenstein Newton MA
642 Wendy Hansen Mt Hamilton CA
643 beth harris Ithaca NY
644 Heidi Heise Minneapolis MN
645 Edwin Hiley Athens PA
646 Rasha Howlader LA CA
647 Odile Hugonot Haber Ann Arbor MI WILPF
648 Terry Irish St. Paul MN
649 Vian Jalal St Leonard''s on sea United Kingdom
650 Joy Johnson Harmony MN SEMNAP