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
551 Rosalie Riegle Evanston IL
552 E. Daniel Riehl Lititz PA
553 Shira Robinson Baltimore MD
554 Anna Rogers San Rafael CA
555 David Rolde Weston MA
556 Alan Rudan Greenbelt MD
557 Ethelia Ruiz Medrano Mexico Mexico
558 Julie Rushkewicz Chicago IL
559 Ann Russo Chicago IL
560 Joseph Saah Piedmont CA
561 Glen Sandberg Gulfport MS
562 Margaret Sarfehjooy St. Louis Park MN
563 Paul Sawyer Ithaca NY
564 Carol Scheller Geneva Switzerland
566 Ginny Schneider Henniker NH
567 Sarah Schreiber Los Angeles CA
568 Carolyn Schurr Minneapolis MN
570 Alia Shalabi Mokena IL
571 Bianca Shana''a Washington DC NW DC
572 Michael Shane Detroit MI Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
573 Peter Shapiro Portland OR
574 Annan Shehadi Hickory Hills IL
575 Lenore Sheridan San Jose CA
576 Rebecca Shockley Minneapolis MN
577 Fisun Shukru Middlesex United Kingdom
578 Murray Smith Myrtle Bank Australia
579 Valerie Solovjovs Ham Lake MN
580 Cynthia Sophiea Los Angeles CA
581 Pamela Sporn Bronx NY
582 Stan Squires Vancouver CA
583 constance st jean riverside CA
584 Kristen Stoeckeler Mineapolis MN
585 David Stovall Chicago IL
586 Jon Swanson Ann Arbor MI
587 Mark Swinton Kenilworth United Kingdom
588 Brad Thacker Lakewood CO
589 Jonathan Trautman Calgary AB
590 Judith Tucker Washington DC
591 Jeffrey Turner Pittsfield MA
592 Sandra Turner New York NY
593 Gabrielle Verdier Les Lilas France
594 lee Anne Vezzani-Katano SanJose CA
595 Jorge Villanueva Cartago Costa Rica
596 Paul Waite Huntington MA
597 Joan Walsh Durham NC
598 James Warram Norman OK
599 robert mark weaver clarion PA
600 Berit Westby Hokksund Norway