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
101 Steven Hollis St. Louis MO
102 Elias Holtz Brooklyn NY Freedom Socialist Party
103 rafe husain corona CA
104 Darcy Leo-Thiha Ike San Diego CA Los Angeles Gay Liberation Front
105 Joe Iosbaker Chicago IL
106 Jacob Jensen Chestnut Hill MA
107 Lois Jordan Tucson AZ
108 Ann Joseph Chicago IL
109 David Kannerstein Lafayette Hill PA
110 Daniel Kaplan Chicago IL
111 Sondra Katz Silver Spring MD
112 Michael Keefer Toronto ON
113 Mha Atma S. Khalsa Los Angeles CA
114 george kiebala rolling meadows IL
115 Encke King NYC NY
116 Ellen Kirshbaum Brooklyn NY
117 Ulle Koiv New York NY
118 Dennis Kortheuer Long Beach CA
119 David Kreiss-Tomkins Sitka AK
120 Barbara Larcom Baltimore MD
121 tom larsen St Paul MN
122 Heinz Leitner Vienna, Austria Austria
123 Tammy Lettieri Deerfield Beach FL
124 Joe Lombardo Delmar NY UNAC
125 Patsy Lowe Simi Valley CA
126 Kathy Manley Cropseyville NY
127 Mark Mansfield Geneva NY
128 Kate Marhoefer Chicago IL
129 Jerry Markatos Pittsboro NC
130 Michael Martin Mountain Home ID
131 Sarah Martin Minneapolis MN
132 Arnold Matlin Linwood NY
133 Julie McCarthy Westminster CO
134 Mike McCormick Seattle WA
135 Edwin McCready Los Angeles CA
136 John McHale Oak Lawn IL
137 Gail McMullen Los Angeles CA
138 Douglas McNeill Greenbelt MD PeterCares House
139 Ricardo Mendez Los Angeles CA
140 Allen Minch Lebanon PA
142 Charles Minster San Francisco CA
143 Mirna Miranda LaPorte CO
144 Jonathan Mitchell Madison AL
145 Janet Moon Chicago IL
146 Susan Mortimer Arlington MA
147 Karin Nangreave Chicago IL
148 Errol Narain Chicago IL
149 Bob Nemtusak McHenry IL
150 Russell Novkov Madison WI