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June 10, 2014

2014.06.10: Today: Call U.S. Atty. Drop the charges against Rasmea

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 10:11 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Today: Call U.S. Atty. Drop the charges against Rasmea
June 10 – Call-in Day to drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh
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June 10: Call-in Day to Drop the Charges against Rasmea Odeh

Call U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan

Barbara McQuade
313-226-9100 or 313-226-9501 (voicemail)

Tuesday, June 10

9 am to 5 pm EDT
Demand of U.S. Atty McQuade:
“Drop the Charges against Rasmea Yousef Odeh!”

When you call, you could say,
“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.

Rasmea was convicted 45 years ago by an Israeli military kangaroo court, the result of a confession forced by vicious physical and sexual torture. She never committed any crimes, so the charges against her now ring hollow. 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!”

The June 10 Call-in Day is jointly sponsored by
the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and
the US Palestinian Community Network.

Judge Paul Borman sets September 2nd as the new trial date

Michael Deutsch, attorney for Rasmea Odeh, informed the Rasmea Defense Committee that he and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Detroit were summoned to a conference call by Judge Paul Borman this morning.  Borman informed the attorneys that he is moving Odeh’s trial date from October 21st, which was previously agreed upon only 9 days ago, to September 2nd, 2014.

“This gives us six less weeks to organize to support Rasmea, but we’ll be ready nonetheless,” said Zena Ozeir, one of the coordinators of the defense work in Detroit. “With mobilization from Chicago, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, and all parts Midwest, we will fill the courtroom every day of the trial.”

The defense committee wants to also remind everyone to call U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade next Tuesday, June 10th, and demand that she “Drop the Charges Now!”

Rasmea Yousef Odeh

 5 more actions to take

1) All out for Detroit to defend Rasmea Odeh!

Mobilize to support Rasmea at her next hearing in Detroit on October 21st, 2014 (stay tuned to and for updates).

2) Sign the petition to drop the charges against Rasmea:

3) Call and send photos of support for Rasmea!

Send us a picture holding up the following message:
‘I am ________ and I support Rasmea!’

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

Hold the sign up and snap a selfie, then send it to 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.

4) Join the Facebook page & Tweet:

Facebook page at Drop The Charges Against Rasmea Now! and
Tweet using #Justice4Rasmea

5) Solidarity Statements

Have your organization sign or write a solidarity statement (email to:

Rasmea Defense Committee Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New date of October 21st set for trial of Rasmea Odeh

Palestinian American organizer from Chicago, Rasmea Yousef Odeh, appeared in U.S. District Court in Detroit, Michigan, on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014, with a new attorney, Michael Deutsch of the People’s Law Office in Chicago.

Last week, Odeh decided not to accept a plea agreement that would have revoked her U.S. citizenship and forced her deportation, and instead dismissed her previous attorney. This morning, Deutsch filed an official appearance as Odeh’s representative, and was granted a continuance on her trial until October 21st, 2014. Judge Paul Borman also ruled that the deadline for pre-trial motions had passed, and seemed reluctant to budge on this issue, but Deutsch stated afterward that “as the case develops, hopefully, he’ll be more flexible.”

Odeh is being charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, but is strongly asserting her innocence. Deutsch, who has represented political activists and victims of police and government civil rights violations since 1970, was one of the lawyers for the Attica prisoners following the 1971 uprising and state massacre of 29 inmates, and in 2006, successfully defended Muhammad Salah and Abdelhaleem Ashqar, two Palestinians accused of running a terrorist-recruiting and financing cell in the U.S. They were both acquitted of racketeering and criminal conspiracy charges, and Deutsch was lauded for essentially making the case a referendum on Palestine liberation.

Deutsch stated that he is pleased with the judge’s ruling on the Odeh case, and has begun working on a strategy for the defense.

Ever since Odeh’s arrest and release on bond last October, the Rasmea Defense Committee has been demanding that the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan, Barbara McQuade, drop the charges immediately. Rania Shkairat, a member of this committee in Chicago, said, “We are extremely happy that such a prominent attorney as Michael Deutsch is on the case, and that we now have more time to continue our organizing to pressure the government to drop the charge. Rasmea is a wonderful role model for women like me who have dedicated their lives to social justice, and we will do everything in our power to clear her name.”

Hundreds of supporters of Rasmea were mobilizing to pack the courtroom in Detroit onJune 10th, the original trial start date. Even though there is now a continuance, the defense committee is still raising the calls, “All Out for Detroit!” and “Drop the Charges Now!”

Stay tuned to the United States Palestinian Community Network ( and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( for updates and action steps.

– End –

More Background!

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

October 23, 2013

The below-signed organizations are deeply disturbed by and stand opposed to the indictment yesterday of Rasmea Yousef Odeh, a 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 forPalestinian 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 forArab American communities, and who speak out for Palestinian rights.

In the last year alone, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, in partnership with the Center forConstitutional 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 advocatesfor 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 formonths 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!


Al-Awda New York, Palestine right to Return Coalition
American Friends Service Committee
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
American Muslims for Palestine
Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center
Bay Area Committee to Stop Political Repression (BACSPR)
Bay Area Women in Black
Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign – Vancouver
Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine
Canada Palestine Association
Center for Constitutional Rights
Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights
College and University Workers United
Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism
Council on American-Islamic Relations – Chicago
CUNY Law Students for Justice in Palestine
Friends of Deir Ibzi’a
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine
International League of People’s Struggles
INCITE! Women and Trans* People of Color Against Violence
Independent Jewish Voices-Vancouver
Interdenominational Advocates for Peace (IDAP)
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Jewish Voice for Peace
Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area
Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago
Jewish Voice for Peace – Detroit
Jewish Voice for Peace — Philadelphia
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Justice for Palestinians, San Jose, CA
Labor for Palestine
Legalease Collective, CKUT, Montreal
Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign
Muslim Defense Project of the National Lawyers Guild – New York Chapter
National Lawyers Guild Free Palestine Subcommittee
National Lawyers Guild Chicago
National Students for Justice in Palestine
New York City Labor Against the War
NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid
PAWA: Palestinian American Women’s Association
Palestine Aid Society
Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP)
Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago
Palestine Solidarity Legal Support
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (Toronto)
Red Sparks Union – Vancouver
San Francisco Women in Black
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Socialist Action
Solidarity: a socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization
Sunbula: Arab Feminists for Change
The Dream Defenders
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
US Palestinian Community Network
WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign
Women of Colour Collective at the McGill Faculty of Law
Voice of Palestine

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US Palestinian Community Network

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White Plains, NY 10603

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