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
1001 Eithne Cunningham Grass Valley CA
1003 Gina Dadomo Rehoboth MA
1004 Arthur Daniels Wellington FL
1005 Annette D''Armata Tempe AZ
1006 Jeffrey Davidson Woodbridge VA
1007 Stuart Davies Ashland OR
1008 harriette davis berkeley CA
1009 Shellee Davis Cotati CA
1010 Susan E. Davis New York NY
1011 Gaye Demanuele Preston Australia
1012 Cathey DeSantis Detroit MI
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1014 Eleonora DeWitt Fresno CA
1015 Patricia Dion Loveland OH
1016 Nancy Dollard Uniontown OH
1017 alina dollat gouvieux France
1018 Michael Drayton Mountain View CA
1019 Behrang Edjtehadi Anaheim CA
1020 Holly Elder Rockville MD
1021 John Estes Birmingham AL AL
1022 James Evans Oshkosh WI
1023 D. Fennessy chicago IL
1024 Angelo Festa San Francisco CA
1025 William Fisk Hendersonville NC
1026 Richad Fralin Austin TX
1027 Rafael Franco-Cuevas Tucson AZ
1028 Stefan Frischauf D├╝sseldorf Germany
1029 Joyce Frohn Oshkosh WI
1030 Barry Fruchter Woodstock NY SPN, MECR
1031 Frank Gage Buffalo NY
1032 GAVRIELLE GEMMA jersey city NJ
1033 carl gentile frederick MD
1034 Robert Getsla San Jose CA
1035 Elizabeth Gilarowski Toronto ON
1036 John Gilbert Florence ot
1037 Kyle Goen Brooklyn NY
1038 Richard Gomez Fresno CA
1039 C.R. Goodman Los Gatos CA
1040 Bruce Gordon Lebanon TN
1041 Julius Gordon tucson AZ
1042 Lynn Gottlieb Berkeley CA Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
1043 bruce gowdy oakland CA
1044 Diana Greene Beaverton OR
1045 Benjamin Grunde Ashland OR
1046 Raquel Guillen San Francisco CA
1047 Christine Haftl Prospect Park PA
1048 Lawrence Hager Falls Church VA
1049 Margaret Hashmi BELLINGHAM WA
1050 Jean Hays Fresno CA