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
151 Michael O''Neill Tacoma WA
152 Stephen Oren Chicago IL
153 Robert Redwoodhippie Palmer Rosemount MN
154 Don Pearce Cape Town South Africa
155 Richard Reilly Chicago IL
156 Raymond Reines Marietta GA
158 Johnny Roberts St. Catharines ON
159 Brent Rocks Portland OR
160 Paul Roland Portland OR
161 Tracy Rosenberg Oakland CA
162 Kathryn Roth Healdsburg CA
163 Coleen Rowley Apple Valley MN
164 Luis Sarellano El Paso TX
165 Paul Sauers Highland Park NJ
166 Vivian Schatz PPhiladelphia PA Womens International League for Peace and Freedom
167 skip schiel cambridge MA
168 Karen Schieve San Francisco CA
169 Skye Schmelzer Gainesville FL
170 Cathy Schneider Washington DC
171 D. J. Scholtz minneapolis MN
172 Omar Shah Columbus OH
173 Maureen Sheahan Southfield MI
174 Susan Sheinfeld San Francisco CA
175 Eugene Shubert Richardson TX
176 Brian Smith Warrenton MO
177 Mark E. Smith San Diego CA
178 Newland Smith Evanston IL
179 Bill Sorem Minnetonka MN
180 Bonita Staas Orangeville IL
181 Steven Standard Bellflower CA
182 Robert Stebbins Corvallis OR
183 Burton Steck Chicago IL
184 John and Martha Stoltenberg Elkhart Lake WI
185 Sue Stroud Brentwood Bay BC
186 Jessica Sundin Minneapolis MN Twin Cities Anti-War Committee
187 Masao Suzuki San Jose CA
188 Georgia Tattu Hermosa Beach CA
189 Scott Teresi Columbus OH
190 Andy Thayer Chicago IL Gay Liberation Network
191 Gayle Thompson Albuquerque NM
192 Dr. Robert Thorne WEST NEW YORK NJ New York 9/11 Truth
193 Robert Tobin Des Moines WA
194 Brian Todd Milwaukee WI
195 Stephanie Trasoff Blaine WA
196 Sandra Twang New Berlin NY
197 Richard Tynan Philadelphia PA
198 Willis Unke Fridley MN
199 Maggie Vascassenno Los Angeles CA
200 ordell vee Madelia MN