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
251 Connor Donegan Wauwatosa WI
252 Stephen Downs Selkirk NY
253 Edward Egan Altrincham United Kingdom
254 Feras Elhefnawi Burlingame CA
255 Hassan Elnagar Baton rouge LA
257 Mary Engen Minneapolis MN
258 J. Glenn & Barbara Evans Seattle WA
259 laila farah Chicago IL
260 layla feghali northridge CA
261 Isis Ferguson Chicago IL
262 Mary Kay Flanigan Chicago IL
263 R Michael Flynn Oakland CA
264 Jerise Fogel New York NY
265 Greg Foisie Lancaster CA
266 Michael Franz Grand Rapids MI
267 Michelle Gales Clarksburg WV
268 Anne Garcia Ann Arbor MI
269 ShWN Gargagliano Brooklyn NY
270 Ellen Garza Chicago IL
271 Werner Gebert Ofterdingen Germany
272 Dorothy Gerner Indianapolis IN
273 Matthew Ginsberg-Jaeckle Chicago IL
274 Leigh Golterman New York NY
275 Nathan Goodman Salt Lake City UT
276 Anna Guevarra Chicago IL
277 Freda Guttman Montreal QC
278 Sophia Hansen-Day Seatte WA
279 Amy Harlib New York NY
280 gwen harper naperville IL
281 Norma J F Harrison Berkeley CA Peace and Freedom Party, on the ballot in Ca.
282 Lily Haskell Oakland CA
283 Gerald Hassett Sunnyside NY
284 Andres Hernandez Chicago IL
285 Caroline Herzenberg Chicago IL
286 Kuusela Hilo altadena CA International League of Peoples'' Struggle- US Chapter
287 Janet Hudgins Vancouver BC
288 David Ibbotson Portland OR
289 Hannah Johnson St. Paul MN
290 Mark Johnson Chicago IL
291 Lauren Kael Portland OR
292 Chris Kaihatsu Chicago IL
293 Raimo Kangasniemi Juupajoki Finland
294 Stanley Kaster Brooklyn NY
295 Holly Kent-Payne Chicago IL Anti-War Committee, Chicago
296 Timothy King Indianapolis IN Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
297 Elaine Klaassen Minneapolis MN
298 Gregory Klave Minneapolis MN
299 Katherine Kleckner St. Paul MN
300 Annette Klepzig Wilhelmsfeld Germany Member of Pax Christ