ACT NOW: Rasmea Odeh found guilty after unfair trial. SJP National calls on chapters to participate in a National Day of Action on November 14, 2014.
Just over a year ago, in the early morning hours of October 22, 2013, Department of Homeland Security officers arrived at the home of 66-year-old Rasmea Odeh, a beloved Palestinian community organizer in Chicago, and arrested her. They charged her with illegal procurement of naturalization, but members of the Palestine solidarity community saw the arrest for what it really was: part of an ongoing government attack against Palestine solidarity organizers and community icons in Chicago, the Midwest, and throughout the United States.
Yesterday, after a year of hearings, trips to and from Chicago and Detroit, a five-day trial attended by supporters from across the country, and the growth of a national movement around Rasmea’s case, a jury convicted Rasmea of one count of unlawful procurement of naturalization.
Rasmea was not given a fair trial–a few days before the hearing, District Court Judge Gershwin Drain ruled that Rasmea would not be allowed to testify about the torture she endured at the hands of her Israeli captors, which was at the crux of her defense. She now faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and the possibility of deportation. In a particularly cruel and unnecessary move, Judge Drain remanded Rasmea to custody pending her formal sentencing in March, claiming that she is a flight risk. Rasmea did not even have a chance to say goodbye to her family, friends, and supporters.
Click here for more information on the verdict
Though Rasmea has been convicted, her legal struggle is far from over. The Rasmea Defense Committee is calling on Palestine solidarity organizations across the United States to participate in a national week of action to show support for Rasmea.
The SJP National Ad-Hoc Steering Committee calls on all SJP chapters to participate by organizing actions on your campuses on November 14, 2014.
NSJP also calls on all those who are able to donate money to Rasmea’s legal defense fund, so that they can continue to zealously represent her and prepare for an appeal.
Participate in the week of action! Possible activities include…
- Organizing a demonstration, sit-in, or teach-in on campus
- Organizing a demonstration in front of your local US Attorney’s office
- Organizing a fundraiser to help offset Rasmea’s defense fees
- Writing editorials in your campus and local newspapers
- Participate in the letter-writing campaigns to Judge Drain and Rasmea Odeh (more info here)
When publicizing your actions on social media, please be sure to use the hashtags #Justice4Rasmea and #FreeRasmeaNow