On International Women’s Day, we honor our beloved Rasmea Odeh

On International Women’s Day, we honor our beloved Rasmea Odehrasmea2 In commemoration of International Women’s Day, AROC community and allies gathered in San Francisco at 518 Valencia: The Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics Saturday evening to celebrate the granting of the appeal of Rasmea Odeh’s unjust conviction and learn about ways to organize in her defense.

Speakers, Nadine Naber and Lina Baroudi, shed light on Odeh’s work in the Arab immigrant and refugee community and the impact this decision has on the lives of hundreds of women in Chicago, immigrants and communities all across the US.

As anti-immigrant sentiment continues to rise in national debates, supporters of Rasmea Odeh, a long-time community leader for Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim women immigrants in the US, are continuing to fight against state violence and repression. Rasmea, the Palestinian American icon, was convicted of a politically motivated immigration violation in 2014, and sentenced to 18 months in prison and subsequent deportation.

Donate to her defense and get involved in supporting Free Rasmea Now: www.justice4rasmea.org

Contact AROC to get involved with the Bay Area defense committee or to organize an event or meeting for your community or organization.


rasmea3 rasmea4



Justice for Rasmea Odeh! Join the Twitter Storm 1/27 #Justice4Rasmea

Join the Rasmea Defense Committee on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, in support of immigrant rights leader and Arab community organizer, Rasmea Odeh.  In October, Rasmea’s legal team filed an appeal of her unjust conviction for Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization. We are expecting a decision about this appeal any day now.How to participate on Wednesday, January 27th:
Help us spread the word about Rasmea on every social media platform you’re on!

  1. Twitter: Follow @Justice4Rasmea, re-tweet our messages, and tweet your own (based on our resource guide) throughout the day.
  2. Facebook: Like and follow us at http://www.fb.com/Free-Rasmea-Now-678264732186412
  3. Visit http://justice4rasmea.tumblr.com/ for images and text that you can share. Make sure to include the #Justice4Rasmea hashtag.
  4. Go to www.justice4rasmea.org for more information.
  5. Prepare your city, organization, and/or campus for our Emergency Response Plan:

Although we are confident that we will win the appeal and have the conviction overturned, there is a chance—as we reported right before the end of 2015—that the appellate court will uphold the conviction, ruling in favor of the government. If that happens, it is very likely that Rasmea will be ordered to turn herself in to federal prison authorities, while we petition to keep her out on bail.

If this worst-case scenario decision comes down BEFORE 12 NOON, and Rasmea is ordered to prison, we are calling for protests the VERY SAME DAY at 5 PM at federal buildings across the country.
If the decision comes down AFTER 12 NOON, we are calling for protests the NEXT DAY at 5 PM.
Allies and supporters across the world will also be participating in the emergency response by protesting at U.S. consulates and embassies everywhere.

The SF Bay Area Defends Rasmea

On Friday, November 14th, over 100 people came together for a night of music, food and political discussion and raised $3000 to support Rasmea Odeh’s defense! This came after a week of local efforts where activists in Oakland locked down the Federal Courthouse to demand Rasmea’s immediate release.FullSizeRender (6)

During the Pelican 2 Palestine event on Friday evening, Sahar from Addameer reaffirmed the need for us to challenge the prison industrial complex here in the US because the US and Israel work in hand in hand to repress communities.

IMG_0622 (3)Speakers from AROC, Critical Resistance, and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement reminded us that our struggles are interconnected, IMG_0608 (1)that we are resilient and that we as a community must continue to fight back and follow Rasmea’s lead .

Over the course of the evening, we shared a delicious meal catered by Reem’s, and heard the powerful words of Nadine Naber inspiring us all to find strength in Rasmea’s love for our struggle. All the while, Fatima Lahlou and band filled the room with revolutionary Arabic folk music.

FullSizeRender (8)

To get involved in the bay area rasmea defense committee, email freerasmeaba@gmail.com.

To Donate

If you would like to donate to
Rasmea’s defense fund write checks to CSFR and mail to:
Attn: Rasmea Defense Fund
3148 W. 63rd Street, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60629

Write to Rasmea

Rasmieh Odeh #144979
St. Clair County Jail
1170 Michigan
Port Huron, MI. 48060
Please remember that all letters are read by prison authorities.

 Speech by Nadine Naber:

When the Israeli state tortured and sexually assaulted her, Rasmea spoke out loud and testified in 1979
at the UN… on the world stage and told her story.

and now in Michigan, the judge—a spokesperson for Israel—in the most misogynist way—belittled her history of sexual torture using phrases like “that torture stuff and whatever…”

and told her she cannot tell her story—
that she was tortured into the confession…
that was imprisoned without due process
…that the conviction was illegitimate…
that she was innocent

And in that courtroom, once again,
Rasmea said NO!
This is MY life!
I have the right to tell my story…
to tell what happened to me!

Then, again, in the most sexist and racist way, the judge told her she didn’t have a community—as if a woman has to be married with kids to have a community…
and this is what he used to put her into custody and rip her away from us!


And when the judge said, she has nobody, we said to Rasmea:

And WE ARE THE PEOPLE who filled the courtroom with our collective bodies and spirit and said NO!
We will not allow you to take her away!
The women Rasmea works with need her

She is the first and for some—the only person they trust in this country
When the police ripped her apart from us—one of Rasmea’s co-workers told me,


And last international women’s day, when one of her students—a recent Yemeni immigrant woman to whom Rasmea taught English—was asked to write something in English for the first time in her life, she wrote:

“I love my teacher.”

So as we stand here today, let us affirm that we will keep our collective power alive and that we will not let them take her
Just as we will not let them take Palestine!

We will speak loudly and tell our story—Rasmea’s story
We will visit her in jail
We will write her letters and send her pictures
and we will commit long hours to the appeal

So we can at last, look Rasmea in the face—in her eyes—and embrace her and say,

YES, RASMEA! We FOUND justice here!

Fundraiser for Rasmea: Friday at 7pm


Art by Nidal El Khairy

Join AROC, the Pelican 2 Palestine Network & USPCN on Friday for an evening of music, food and conversation to support Rasmea Odeh.
Please spread the word.
Order tickets online:

Occupation, Repression, and Strategies of Resistance from the US to Palestine: A Night of Music, Food, and Conversation to Support the Case of Rasmea Odeh

Friday, November 14th

1721 Broadway, Oakland 
Accessible by elevator and Bart

$10-20 donation
Funds raised will support the defense of Rasmea Odeh



Featuring from Palestine:
Sahar Francis, Deputy Director of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

Presentations by:

Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Critical Resistance

AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center 

Catering by Reem’s: Arab street food with California love
Arabic music by Wael Buhaissy and Fatima Lahlou

This is a crucial time to come to Rasmea’s defense.

In a travesty of justice, Rasmea Odeh today was found guilty of one count of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization. For over a year, Rasmea, her supporters, and her legal team have been battling this unjust government prosecution, saying from the start that the immigration charge was nothing but a pretext to attack this icon of the Palestine liberation movement.

Odeh is the founder of the Arab Women’s Committee in Chicago, a grassroots collective that offers an environment that promotes leadership among Arab immigrant women. The US government has accused her of omitting an answer on her citizenship application 10 years ago. Odeh, who was sexually tortured into a false confession by Israel and served a decade in Israeli prisons, faces revocation of her citizenship, imprisonment, and deportation.

For over a year, the Rasmea Defense Committee has been organizing educational events, rallies, protests, and call-in days to demand that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and Tukel drop the charges against her. We now have more work ahead of us. Rasmea’s brilliant legal team-Deutsch, Jim Fennerty, Bill Goodman, and Dennis Cunningham-will file an appeal, and have strong grounds to do so, based on Judge Drain’s unjust decisions. And we will continue to support their work with our political organizing and mobilizations.

Just like our people in Palestine and across the world will never rest until every inch of historical Palestine is free, we will never rest in our defense and support of Rasmea as she moves forward to challenge this conviction.

Rasmea’s story is the story of millions of Palestinians, and of millions of freedom-loving defenders of justice everywhere. Her eventual victory will be a victory for Palestine and for all the people’s movements across the world.

In the words of a letter of protest by more than 100 feminist scholars:

Rasmea’s story encompasses some of the most urgent feminist struggles of our times-violence against women and the use of sexual violence as a tool of colonization and war; the impact of racism and anti-immigrant policies upon women; the criminalization of women of color; and the use of intimidation to thwart feminist activism.

info@araborganizing.org | 415.861.7444

For everything you need to know about Rasmea’s trial in Detroit:


Sign the petition demanding the US government drop the charges against Rasmea:


info@araborganizing.org | 415.861.7444

Celebrate International Women’s Day: Support Rasmea Odeh!

المركز العربي للمصادر والتنظيم (AROC) يهنئكم بمناسبة يوم المرأة العالمي 

في هذه المناسبة نود تذكير أعضاء الجالية برفع مستوى الوعي بخصوص رسمية عودة؛ امرأة عربية مهاجرة في عمر الـ 66 عاما، والتي تم استهدافها من قبل الحكومة الأمريكية لكونها فلسطينية قبعت في سجون الإحتلال قبل أربعون عاما ولكونها ناشطة عربية في مدينة شيكاغو.


On March 8th we commemorate the legacy and struggles of women around the world.  And today, AROC asks our members, friends, and allies to dedicate time to raising awareness about the case of Rasmea Odeh.

Rasmea Odeh is a long time community activist and former Palestinian political prisoner who is currently being targeted by the US Federal government as part of their ongoing persecution of political dissent.

Political Persecution

Solidarity with Rasmea Odeh Against State Repression

On October 22nd, Rasmea was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on a fabricated charge of committing immigration fraud decades ago. She is now facing up to 10 years in prison, the revocation of her US citizenship and deportation. This outrageous attempt by DHS to intimidate an elderly Palestinian immigrant woman using spurious charges is a clear attack on her social justice and community organizing work and, hence, an attack on us all. Her case is not an isolated incident but is tied to an escalation of political repression over the past decade and rooted in the historical repression of people of color communities and political dissent including COINTELPRO and various “red scares” of the 20th century.

US, Israel and Global Repression


An activist, and advocate of immigrant and women’s rights, and the associate director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago, Rasmea is being charged with immigration fraud for allegedly not mentioning that she was arrested by the Israeli military over 40 years ago. This is the same Israeli military that has imprisoned over 20% of the Palestinian population, and routinely tortures and violates the human rights of the current 7,500 Palestinian political prisoners. And now she is being targeted by the US government. A government that has reached record number deportations, is bolstering surveillance and militarization of communities, imprisoning more people than any other country in the world, while turning a blind eye to the ongoing extrajudicial killings and policing of the poor communities of color.

Rasmea: a Leading Arab American Community Organizer

Rasmea has dedicated her life to struggling against these systems of injustice and defending the rights of those impacted by them. For over 50 years, Rasmea has been involved in the women’s movement in Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Chicago. In Chicago, she has empowered hundreds of immigrant women through programs aimed at addressing literacy, immigrant rights, racial profiling, intergenerational trauma, and gender violence. As a recognized leading figure in the women’s and immigrant rights movement, she has worked across communities to build solidarity and community power.And today,
ayosupportsrasmeaat the age of 66, she finds herself yet again facing the brutality of a system designed to criminalize those who dare to speak up and organize for a more equitable and just society.

Take Action!

As a grassroots community organization committed to addressing the social, political and economic impacts of racism, particularly anti-Arab racism, AROC stands shoulder to shoulder with Rasmea as she challenges the judicial system and fights for her right to lead a dignified life rooted in the well-being of her community.

We call on our members, allies and partners to organize events to raise awareness about her case, donate to her legal fund and draft statements of solidarity to send a message loud and clear–our communities will not be intimated and will continue to challenge injustice everywhere!

[Sign the Rasmea Odeh Petition] 

[More Information]

Support Rasmea Odeh: Community discussion and film screening

Pelican 2 Palestine presents

rasmeaCommunity film screening & discussion to build support for Rasmea Odeh

A Palestinian woman, Rasmea Odeh, was arrested at her home on the morning of Oct. 22, by agents of the Department of Homeland Security for allegedly not mentioning that she had been arrested and tortured by the state of Israel. As a along time Palestinian activist and community organizer, the targeting of Rasmea is a part of an ongoing campaign to criminalize progressive Palestine activism in the US.

Rasmea’s work as the Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network made her a leading organizer in the women’s movement in Chicago.

The documentary film, Women in Struggle was made close to a decade ago.  It follows the story of 4 Palestinian women, including Rasmea Odeh, that were tortured in Israeli prisons.  45 years later, Rasmea is still being targeted for her political activism.  Join us for a discussion on her case and its implications for our work.

Monday, December 9, 2013


518 Valencia Street, San Francisco

For more info:

info@freedomarchives.org | info@araborganizing.org



CALL TO ACTION: Protest against the indictment of Palestinian-American activist Rasmea Odeh

Download PDF Flyer | Facebook Event

CALL FOR ACTION:  Protest against the indictment of Palestinian-American activist Rasmea Odeh


Join the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), the Palestinian Youth Movement(PYM), and the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network (IJAN):

Protest Against the Indictment of Palestinian Activist, Rasmea Odeh

Oscar Grant Plaza, Oakland

Wednesday, November 13th @ 5pm

The United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) and Rasmea’s supporters and legal team have called for the 13th of this month to be NATIONAL DAYS of ACTION to support Rasmea and demand dropping of the charges now!

If convicted, Rasmea faces up to 10 years in prison, being stripped of her U.S. citizenship, and probable deportation. We cannot allow this to happen. The charges against her are a political attack on her as an individual and on Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities across the U.S. as a whole. The U.S. government is attacking Rasmea just as they attacked the Holy Land Foundation, the 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists in 2010, Chicano leader, Carlos Montes, and many others who have fought for justice and dignity.

Endorsed by: USPCN, Palestinian Youth Movement, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, International Jewish Anti-zionist Network, Middle East Children’s Alliance, Bay Area Committee to Stop Political Repression, National Lawyer’s Guild-San Francisco, Freedom Archives, Critical Resistance, All Of Us Or None

Take Action!

  1. Sign the petition to drop the charges against Rasmea:  http://www.iacenter.org/rasmeaodehpetition/
  2. Call and send photos of support for Rasmea! 
  3. Join the Facebook page: Drop The Charges Against Rasmea Now!
  4. Mobilize to support Rasmea at her next hearing in Detroit on November 13th. For more information, email the Coalition to Protect People’s Rights atcppr@aaan.org  
  5. Have your organization sign or write a solidarity statement (email to: stopfbi@gmail.com)

Outrageous Arrest of Palestinian Activist, Rasmea Odeh

Outrageous arrest of Palestinian activist in Chicago

A Palestinian woman, Rasmieh Odeh, was arrested at her home on Oct. 22, by agents of the Department of Homeland Security. Continue reading