The Tampa 5 - Gia Davila, Lauren Pineiro, Laura Rodriguez, Jeanie K, and Chrisley Carpio
1. Tuesday, Sept. 2: Call the prosecutors and tell them, “Drop the charges now!”
Call Jonathan Tukel in Detroit at 313-226-9100
Chief of National Security Unit, U.S. Attorney’s office, Eastern District of Michigan
Call Barbara McQuade at 313-226-9501 or
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan
When you call say, “Hello, my name is ________, and I am calling from _________ to demand that U.S. Attorney McQuade drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh.”
(first name pronounced Russ-MEE-yuh)
Make the call! We got Judge Borman to step down. Now we have to keep up the pressure!
Sept. 2, 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Time
2. Important Update! Judge Borman forced to step down in Rasmea Odeh trial!
Detroit, MI – Judge Paul D. Borman was forced to step down from the bench on in the case of Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh on August 11. On July 31, when 120 activists attended Rasmea Odeh’s pretrial hearing Detroit, they witnessed Judge Borman denying a defense motion calling for recusal, for him to step down from the case.
In an unexpected turn of events this past week, Borman admitted his financial ties to Israel, “could be perceived as establishing a reasonably objective inference of a lack of impartiality in the context of the issues presented in this case.” Defense claims of pro-Israel bias are vindicated, and Borman has removed himself. The case is now randomly re-assigned to U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain.
The U.S. government is putting Rasmea Odeh, a torture victim, on trial in Detroit. Odeh, who organizes Arab American women to empower themselves and speak out, was arrested, tortured, raped, and convicted by the Israeli military in 1969. She has lived in the U.S. for 20 years and won her citizenship ten years ago. Now, however, the U.S. government is putting her on trial for fraud, for not writing about the Israeli military conviction on her paper work.
When Borman refused the motion to step down on July 31, he dismissed defense arguments about his decades of trips to and fundraising for Israel, claiming his “religious convictions” did not bring his impartiality into question. According to supporters, Borman was falsely covering Zionist ideology with Judaism. “We opposed Judge Borman not because of his Jewish faith, but because of his decades of support for the state of Israel,” said Hatem Abudayyeh, a spokesperson for Odeh’s defense committee. “Rasmea overcame vicious torture by Israeli authorities while imprisoned in Palestine in the 1970s. She has committed no crime and the government has no case. We need a judge willing to listen to a defense that puts Israel on trial for its crimes against Rasmea, and against all Palestinians.”
Supporters of Odeh hail this as a victory for the defense, but are redoubling efforts to win justice for Rasmea. People are being asked to sign the Rasmea Odeh petition at www.stopfbi.net.
Abudayyeh continued, “This case is a political attack on the Palestine liberation movement and that means we need a political defense as much as a legal defense. Thousands of people from across the country are fighting for Rasmea, demanding that the government drop the charges against her. If they do not drop the charges, we are still going all out for Detroit, to fill the courtroom every day of the trial.”
A status hearing in front of Judge Drain is still planned for Tuesday, Sept. 2, in Detroit, and the Rasmea Defense Committee is calling for supporters to pack the courthouse and to call the prosecutors to demand that they drop the charges on that day. The date of the actual trial is being rescheduled.
The national Rasmea Defense Committee includes United States Palestinian Community Network, Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), Coalition to Protect People’s Rights (CPPR), 8th Day Center for Justice, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)-Chicago, American Muslims for Palestine, Anti-War Committee (AWC)-Chicago, AWC-Minneapolis, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Committee Against Political Repression, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago, CAIR-Michigan, Friends of Sabeel-North America, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, International League of Peoples’ Struggle-U.S., Jewish Voice for Peace, Lifta Society, National Boricua Human Rights Network, National Lawyers Guild (NLG), National Students for Justice in Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, Palestinian Youth Movement-USA Branch, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, United African Organization, United National Antiwar Coalition, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Voces de la Frontera, and Women Against Military Madness.
3. Come to Detroit on Sept. 2, Rasmea Odeh Status Hearing
Join us, the National Rasmea Defense Committee as we travel with Rasmea Odeh to court in Detroit on September 2 for a status hearing with the new judge. We are asking you to join Rasmea Odeh’s supporters to rally and protest outside the court on Tuesday, September 2, the day after Labor Day. Palestine solidarity and civil liberty activists from Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids and other Michigan cities will join Rasmea Odeh and pack the courtroom. You can make a difference in stopping this ugly U.S. government targeting of a great woman and Palestinian leader. Join us in saying, “No more torture! Drop the charges now!”
4. Organize a protest in your city or on your campus Sept. 2
In addition, for those who cannot go to Detroit, we are calling for support rallies to be organized across the country on the day of the hearing.