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
501 Marian Larsen Odense Denmark
502 Susan Lasoff Minneapolis MN
503 Cecelia Lavan, OP New Rochelle NY
504 richard laybourn bloomington MN
505 Stephen Lewis Rio Dell CA
506 Sharat G. Lin San Jose CA San Jose Peace and Justice Center
507 Scott Linder Fremont CA
508 David Lloyd Los Angeles CA
509 Dave Logsdon Minneapolis MN
510 Sherri Long Westhampton MA
511 Loren Lybarger Chicago IL
512 Diana Madoshi Rocklin CA
513 Massimo Mandolini-Pesaresi Long Beach CA
514 Daniel Martin Duluth MN
515 antonella martini Busseto Italy
516 Karla Mejia Los Angeles CA Incite!
517 Norman Meres Fairport NY
518 Dee Michel Oakland CA
519 Martha Miller Columbus OH
520 Roberta Miller Columbus OH
521 Carlos Miranda Garcia-Tejedor Madrid Spain
522 Robert Miyake-Stoner Aiea HI
523 Mindy Mizobe Honolulu HI
524 Ken Moffatt Calgary AB
525 Chandra Talpade Mohanty Ithaca NY
526 Bettina Mollica Columbus OH
527 Kent Mori Evanston IL
528 Teresa Morris San Pedro CA
529 Suneela Mubayi new york NY
530 Ilze Mueller Minneapolis MN
531 Jeanne Mugge Minneapolis MN
532 zakiyyah muhammad chicago IL
533 Mary Mulherin St Paul MN
534 Dorothy Naor Nof Yam, Herzliah Israel
535 Marcy Newman Brummana Lebanon
536 Rachel Norris Manchester NH
537 William Nusbaum Saint Louis Park MN
538 Ramzi Obeid Fremont CA
539 Margo Okazawa-Rey Berkeley CA
540 Corey E. Olsen Delafield WI CEO Pipe Organs/Golden Ponds Farm
541 jay owens chicago IL
542 Phillip Pflager Cupertino CA
543 Carolyn Poinelli Boston MA
544 Angela Price Madera CA
545 Jules Quinlan Chicago IL
546 Gordon Quinn Chicago IL
547 Junaid Rana Chicago IL
548 Barbara Ransby Chicago IL
549 Ana Reichenbach Chapel Hill NC
550 Donald Rice Phenix City AL