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
901 Bernadette Logue Seattle WA
902 Sara Luther Mount Dora FL
903 Laura Marcinkowski HOUSTON TX
904 Louis A. Marinconz Brooklyn NY
905 Alice Anne Martineau Mountain View CA
906 Ina Martinez Glendora CA UPWARD
907 Antonia Matthew Bloomington IN
908 Tom and Sara Mayer Boulder CO
909 Gregory McCain Chicago IL
910 Maria Elena Mesa Toronto ON
911 Carlos Miranda Garc¡a-Tejedor Mexico D.F. Mexico
912 Kyla Mitchell Fresno CA
913 Darren Mitton Avondale Estates GA
914 Lawrence Mosqueda Olympia WA
915 Peter Murray Preston Australia
916 David Nelson Mansfield Center CT
917 Rael Nidess Marshall TX
918 Antigone Pantanizopoulos Baltimore MD
919 John Parker Los Angeles CA International Action Center
921 Sarah Pirtle Shelburne Falls MA
922 Karen Pope Madison WI
923 Rick Powers Franklin OH
924 Elisabeth Price Albuquerque NM
925 Eideh Mutlaq Qanah Irbid Jordan
926 Esmat Rabi Dubai United Arab Emirates
927 Mary Radke Stillwater MN
928 S M Ramos Albuquerque NM
929 bobby rawlings alton IL
930 Leni Reeves Auberry CA
931 Jelica Roland Buzet Croatia
932 Laurie Rolfe Berkeley CA
933 Ruth Russell Magill Australia Womens International League for Peace and Freedom
934 Ethel Ruymaker Oakland CA
935 Stephen Sacks Fresno CA
936 Lynn Sahlem Waianae HI
937 Mary Jane Schutzius Florissant MO
938 Dr. Ghulam mustafa Shaikh Cork Ireland
939 Tanya Sharon West Bloomfield MI
940 Mary Shesgreen Elgin IL
941 Wendy Rambo Shuford Baltimore MD
942 Jean Sommer Independence OH
943 richard stone fresno CA
944 Esther Surovell New York NY
945 Josie Taglienti PHOENIX AZ
946 Dr. F Taylor Hilton Head SC
947 L Thomas-Adeyemo Oakland CA
948 Alison Thorne Preston, Victoria Australia
949 Don and Roberta Thurstin Timmerman Milwaukee WI