Support Rasmea Yousef Odeh – Chicago Palestinian Community Leader
Tell U.S. Attorney: Drop the Charges Now!
The Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago calls on all Palestine solidarity activists to support Palestinian community leader Rasmea Yousef Odeh who was vindictively arrested at her home on Tuesday morning by the Department of Homeland Security accused of “immigration fraud”. In her application for citizenship, she allegedly didn’t mention that she was arrested in Palestine 45 years ago by an Israeli military court that routinely detains and tortures Palestinians without charge. The US immigration service has a long history of using immigration forms many years later to deport political activists from many countries including Ireland, Palestine, and Arab and Muslim-majority countries.
Her arrest seems closely related to the case of the 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists subpoenaed to a grand jury in 2010. Well-known labor, community and international solidarity activists around the Midwest had their homes raided by the FBI when the U.S. attorney alleged that they had provided material support to foreign terrorist organizations in Palestine and Colombia. The majority of the 23 targeted in the grand jury investigation are Palestine activists and none of the 23 has ever been charged for anything. Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas is leading the investigation against the 23 and was at the courtroom in Chicago, consulting with the assistant U.S. attorney who was presenting the indictment to the judge. Jonas was also the prosecutor in the case of the Holy Land Five, the heads of the largest Muslim charity in the U.S. before 9/11. He was successful in getting prison sentences for as long as 65 years for the five men, who provided charity to children in Gaza.
Those of us in the Palestine solidarity movement in Chicago have watched Rasmea work tirelessly over many years for the rights of Palestinians and for all Arab women. We see her arrest as part of a continuing campaign to intimidate and suppress Palestine activism in the US. A vindictive tactic used by a government that will ultimately be unable to stop the international movement for Palestinian rights.
We ask all Palestine activists to call Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, at 313.226.9501 or 313.226.9100, on Friday, October 25th, from 8 AM to 4 PM CST, to demand that she Drop the Charges Now!
Rasmea Yousef Odeh will appear in court in Detroit on Nov. 1. PSG-Chicago urges all activists to attend the court proceedings in Detroit in her defense and be ready to mobilize for more protests of this new assault on Palestine activism.