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
51 Martha Eberle
52 Steve Eckardt Chicago IL
53 Steve Ediger Chicago IL
54 Julie Ellison Winterton United Kingdom
55 Hedy Epstein St. Louis MO
56 Edward Evanko Seaside CA
57 Michael W Evans Los Angeles CA
58 S. Farage Milwaukee WI
59 Marie Farren Tucson AZ
60 Solana Feldthouse Santa Cruz CA
61 Leslie Feuille Washington DC
62 Jeanne Finley Albany NY
63 Mary Lou Finn Chicago IL
64 Elizabeth Frank Chicago IL
65 Elizabeth Fraser Chicago IL
66 Leanne Friedman Davis CA
67 Michael Friedman Hewlett NY
68 Kathe Garbrick Manhattan KS
69 Lee Gargagliano Chicago IL
70 Amber Garlan St. Paul MN
71 Lydia Garvey Clinton OK
72 Linden Gawboy Ely MN Welfare Rights Committee
74 Chris Getowicz Minneapolis MN
75 Stefano Giusti Rome Italy
76 Robert Goetz Wilkinsburg PA
77 Leslie Gold NY NY
78 Trevor Goodger-Hill Trottier Mills QC Citizens of the World
79 Ben Gordon New Orleans LA Pax Christi,N.O.
80 Timothy Gray Chicago IL
81 Terry Greenberg Quathiaski Cove BC
83 Michelle Gross Minneapolis MN
84 Eldon Grossman Chicago IL Veterans For Peace-Chicago
85 BABETTE GRUNOW milwaukee WI
86 Luce Guillen-Givins Minneapolis MN
87 Ilse Hadda Berkeley CA
88 Lawrence C. Hager Falls Church VA
89 Alan Haggard San Diego CA
90 Louise Halverson Minneapolis MN
91 Lisa Hammermeister Granada Hills CA
92 Nancy Hammond Eastport MI
93 James F. Harrington Stafford TX
94 Sue Harris Jersey City NJ Peoples Video Network
95 J Kristin Hedges Washington DC
96 Rachel Herbener Evanston IL
97 Melissa Hill Minneapolis MN
98 Carol Hillman Chicago IL
99 George Hintzen The Hague Netherlands
100 Fred Hirsch Sant Cruz CA