May 21, 2014

Rasmea Odeh NOT pleading guilty

For Immediate Release

Contact: Hatem Abudayyeh
(773) 301-4108
hatem@aaan.org

Contrary to erroneous press reports, Rasmea Odeh is not pleading guilty. Today in the U.S.District Court in Detroit, MI, she requested a change of counsel and reported to Judge Paul Borman that she is going to trial.

She has committed no crime and the government has no case. She has been in this country for 20 years, a citizen for 10 of them, and an upstanding one at that. One who supports the empowerment of immigrant women through leadership development programming she leads in Chicago. One who works closely with Black, Latino, Asian, white, and other communities in Chicago, to promote multi culturalism and racial and social justice. One who is supported so broadly by colleagues in Chicago that she was awarded an Outstanding Community Leader award by the Chicago Cultural Alliance in 2013.

The charge brought against her is just a pretext for the continuation of federal law enforcement repression against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims in this country. This policy attempts to scapegoat and intimidate our community into staying silent and not raising its voice against injustice.

But that will not happen. Hundreds of people are being mobilized as I speak to travel to Detroit to fill the courtroom during Rasmea’s trial and provide support. We will be here every day, showing the world that she will not be alone.

There has already been a massive outpouring of love and support for Rasmea across the U.S. and the world, because people see this prosecution for what it is, a political attack on a 66 year old Palestinian woman who has dedicated her life to progress and social justice for her people and all people. We will stand with her to fight these charges.