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Stand by Palestinian-American Activist Rasmea Odeh, Targeted by FBI and Grand Jury

UJP has signed on to the following statement, along with many other organizations including US-Campaign to End the Israeli Occuption, of which UJP is a member organization:

Statement: CCR, PSLS, 64 other rights groups sign statement opposing indictment of Palestinian-American activist Rasmea Odeh

The below-signed organizations are deeply disturbed by and stand opposed to the indictment yesterday ofRasmea Yousef Odeha Palestinian-American community activist who has dedicated 10 years to the Chicago Arab-American community, working with women on issues ranging from promoting literacy and political education to addressing domestic violence and anti-Arab and Muslim sentiment. 

Rasmea’s indictment for alleged immigration fraud comes at a time when advocates for Palestinian rights and immigration rights activists have been facing increasing pressure all over the country.  Exactly three years ago, 23 anti-war and Palestinian rights activists were subpoenaed to testify before a Grand Jury and several of their homes were raided by the FBI.    There have been no indictments against the 23 activists subpoenaed in 2010, presumably because of a lack of evidence. It is no coincidence that federal prosecutors are now targeting Rasmea, who is a pillar in the same community.  

The 2010 raids, the Grand Jury subpoenas that accompanied them, and this indictment against a 65 year old woman who suffered for a decade in Israeli prisons before coming to the U.S. in 1995, are a clear signal that federal authorities, along with Israel and its supporters in the U.S., are continuing to search for ways to intimidate and silence those who are effective advocates for Arab American communities, and who speak out for Palestinian rights.

In the last year alone, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, in partnership with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and in collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild and other organizations, has documented over 75 cases of intimidation and legal bullying. These include perceived surveillance, FBI contacts, and discriminatory enforcement of laws against advocates for Palestinian rights.  Rasmea’s arrest and indictment must be viewed within this wider context of widespread attempts to intimidate people into silence on one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time.  Rasmea’s indictment is also an illustration of increasingly draconian enforcement of immigration laws, which have left immigrant communities devastated at the hands of Obama’s Department of Homeland Security.

Rasmea is an exemplary citizen who recently finished a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and has a law degree from Jordan.  She has overcome amazing odds after being convicted by the Israeli military court system in 1969 for her alleged association with a leftist Palestinian nationalist group that the U.S. designated a terrorist organization.  The military courts operate exclusively to subjugate occupied Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.  They routinely bypass all but a modicum of due process, and justify holding individuals without charge or trial for months and years, often in abusive conditions and subject to torture.  Rasmea’s activism against the Israeli occupation in the 1960s resulted in her imprisonment in Israeli prisons for 10 years, and it is surely her community activism in the U.S. that has made her, and by extension, the community that relies on her, the target of this indictment.

We call for solidarity with Rasmea as she undergoes a difficult legal battle. 

See statement and list of endorsing organizations:  http://ccrjustice.org/statement%3A-ccr,-psls,-33-groups-sign-statement-opposing-indictment-palestinian-american-activist-rasmea-o

 

Drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh!

Actions to take in support of Rasmea:  (From StopFBI.net)

1)  Call Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, at 313.226.9501 or 313.226.9100, or email barbara.mcquade@usdoj.gov to demand that she Drop the Charges Now!

Example script and talking points to use:

Hello, my name is ________ and I am calling from _________.

I am calling to demand that U.S. Attorney McQuade drop the immigration charges against Rasmea Odeh. She is a beloved leader in the community and has worked tirelessly to serve and help empower Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim families throughout the Chicagoland area.

Rasmea is a community icon and was recently awarded an "Outstanding Community Leader" award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance for her over 40 years of dedication and service to people across the Arab World and the U.S.

These charges are a political attack on her as an individual and on the collective Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim communities across the U.S.

I stand in unequivocal support of Rasmea and demand that these charges be dropped immediately!

2) Join us to pack the courtroom in mid-November for the first court appearance in Detroit.  Stay tuned for the date, time and exact location.

3) Like the “Drop the Charges Against Rasmea Now” Facebook page -

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Drop-The-Charges-Against-Rasmea-Now/678264732186412

4) Send statements of support and solidarity to stopfbi@gmail.com

5) Send us your pictures holding up a sign with the following message:

“I am _________ and I support Rasmea” cppr@aaan.org

You can fill in the blank with any self-identifier: your name, your occupation, or any other description.  Some examples are:  "I am a stay-at-home dad and I support Rasmea!"  "I am a youth organizer and I support Rasmea!"  "I am a supporter of Palestinian human rights and I support Rasmea!"  

Hold the sign up and snap a selfie, then send it to cppr@aaan.org. Put it up as your Facebook/Twitter profile pic, Google Account image, or anything else! Just remember we may use your image in future publications and informational pamphlets that get published online or distributed as hard copies. 

6) Stay tuned to www.stopfbi.net for updates on the case.  

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