Sign the petition for Rasmea Odeh

Drop the Charges against Rasmea Yousef Odeh

Sign the petition here:


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
1301 William Thomas Auburn NH
1302 Char Yun Toronto ON
1303 Susie Zeiger Bronx NY
1304 Nancy Zorn Warr Acres OK
1305 Haytham Al-Azzeh Houston TX
1306 Tahany Alsabahi Dearborn MI
1307 Nidal Barakat Van Nuys CA
1308 Donald Dodge San Francisco CA
1310 George Evalt Detroit MI
1311 Vaclav Exner Prague Czech Republic
1312 Weyam Ghadbian Oakland CA
1313 Selma Goode Redford Twp MI
1314 Geraldine Grunow Detroit MI
1315 Matt Hastings Tampa FL Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society
1316 Fadi Issa Ann Arbor MI
1317 Solveig Anna Jonsdottir Reykjavik Iceland
1318 Sarah Kanbar Sacramento CA
1319 Sally Kim Detroit MI
1320 Binren Kong Hollywood FL
1321 Nicole Maschke Cleveland OH
1322 Howard McCay Seattle WA
1323 Gay Montague Liverpool NY
1324 Randy Montgomery Detroit MI
1325 ellen nash jersey city NJ Srs. of St. Dominic
1326 Stephen Oviatt Sun Valley NV
1327 Phyllis PALMER Lambertville MI
1328 Renee Panetta Albany NY
1329 Cora-Dorothy Peirce fairhaven MA
1330 William Tamblyn Medford NJ
1331 Zizwe Tchiguka Cleveland OH
1332 Jack Thornburgh North Saanich BC
1333 Kayla Wildman Ukiah CA
1334 David Wyman Ann Arbor MI
1335 arlene baker Berkeley CA
1336 Neville Ball Manchester United Kingdom
1337 Dana Bellwether camp meeker CA
1338 William Copeland Detroit MI
1339 Antonio Cosme Wyandotte MI Raiz Up, Public Allies, Community Benefits Coalition, SW Detroit Pride
1340 Ian Cuthbertson Bangor United Kingdom Bangor Peace & Justice Group
1341 Kim DeFranco St. Paul MN Welfare Rights Committee
1342 Anna Dillenberg Griffin GA
1343 John Dolley Austin TX
1344 Lee Ford Atlanta GA
1345 Paul Frank Faairfield IA
1346 Kenny Fryde Cambridge United Kingdom
1347 Ayana Heumann Detroit MI
1348 rod jones usk United Kingdom UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign
1349 samir kaissi alta loma CA
1350 Sabia Khan London United Kingdom