The Tampa 5 - Gia Davila, Lauren Pineiro, Laura Rodriguez, Jeanie K, and Chrisley Carpio
The Rasmea Defense Committee is angered to have learned today that the Michigan-based Arab-American Civil Rights League (ACRL) will be presenting U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade with an award at its upcoming “Justice Award Tribute” event Friday, May 1st, in Detroit, MI. This award comes on the heels of McQuade’s supervision of the unjust arrest, trial, and conviction of our beloved community icon Rasmea Odeh.
McQuade directed the prosecution led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel, in which he repeatedly referred to Rasmea as a “terrorist” and consistently questioned the validity of her torture at the hands of the Israeli military. McQuade also signed off on a pre-trial motion to Judge Gershwin Drain, referring to Rasmea’s supporters who had demonstrated in front of the federal courthouse as “mobs and hoards [sic].” A prosecutor who chooses to use this language to describe our community should not be awarded by an Arab organization that alleges to protect our civil rights.
In fact, the ACRL was troubled, at the time, by Rasmea’s post-conviction detention pending sentencing, and wrote a statement asking the judge to release her. The publication of the statement begs the question: why honor the very woman who was responsible for Rasmea’s incarceration? What of Rasmea’s civil rights? What of the civil rights of the countless other community members entrapped and railroaded to prison by the U.S. government, both in and outside of Michigan, over the past fifteen years of the U.S.’ domestic “War on Terror”?
We are asking Rasmea’s supporters to take the following action steps to ensure that our voices are heard.
Demand that the Arab-American Civil Rights League immediately withdraw its award to Barbara McQuade.
— Call the ACRL’s Chairman of the Board, Nabih Ayad at 313-633-0231.
Demand he rescind his invitation to McQuade. and that the Arab-American Civil Rights League immediately withdraw its award to Barbara McQuade. (Note: the phone rings a LONG time before the voicemail kicks in.)
— Tweet the ACRL at @ACRLMICH demanding the same; and
— Write the ACRL a Facebook message at
Rasmea Defense Committee