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
851 Marc Cryer Bangor ME
852 Julia Davis Boulder CO
853 william davison Everett WA
854 Katrin Davoodi Agoura Hills CA
855 Richard Dawson Los Angeles CA
856 Ines deCastro Issaquah WA
857 Philip Dennany Indianapolis IN
858 Martin Deppe Chicago IL
859 Dorothy Dincecco Las Vegas NV
860 Joanne Dixon Colorado Springs CO
861 John Duddy Calgary AB
862 Erin Dyke Minneapolis MN
863 Romi Elnagar Baton Rouge LA
864 Chris and Mary Fogarty Chicago IL Friends of Irish Freedom
865 Anna Louise E. Fontaine Lantier QC
867 Ruth M. Gadebusch Fresno CA
868 Elsa Noeline Gannaway Wellington New Zealand
869 Nancy Gathing Madison WI
870 Bijan Ghanei Canoga Park CA
871 Pat Gibbs Maple Ridge BC
872 Susan Goodner Iowa City IA
873 Susan Gordon Santa Fe NM
874 Jim Grant Fresno CA
875 Kinte Grant decatur GA
876 Linda Greene Unionville IN
877 Becky B. Gregory Bloomington IN
878 nancy hall Pacifica CA
879 Benjamin Hamblin Auckland New Zealand
880 Barbara Hanst Boulder CO
881 Richard Hart Austin TX
882 Pat Hartwell Houston TX
883 Alanna Hartzok Scotland PA
884 Hassan Hashemi Newmarket ON
885 Lisa Hilyer SAN DIEGO CA
886 Dana Hoffman Alpine TX
887 Ruth Hooke Amherst MA
888 Diane Jacobs Malina Omaha NE
889 Jimmy Johnson Detroit MI
890 Kenneth Kennon Tucson AZ
891 michael kleinman austin TX youth emergency services
892 Margaret Knight Santa Cruz CA
893 Charles Knowles Durham NC
894 Jennifer Kollert Portland OR
895 Gentian Krasniqi Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
896 Ron Kuhler Lutz FL
897 Jeremy Lahoud Los Angeles CA Seringueiro Social Justice Resources
899 Steve Leigh Seattle WA
900 JoAnne Lingle Indianapolis IN