AROC Community Defense Training Protect Yourself Against Undercover Cops, Informants and Cooperating Witnesses

Join AROC in partnership with the National Lawyers’ Guild-SF and the Electronic Frontier Foundation for:

AROC Community Defense Training

Know Your Rights: On the Street, On the Web, and Beyond
اعرف حقك

Protect Yourself Against Undercover Cops, Informants and Cooperating Witnesses

Date: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Time: 1:00pm – 4:00 pm
Location: The Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics
518 Valencia Street,
San Francisco, CA


منذ الحادي عشر من سبتمبر والعرب والمسلمون (وحتى من يظهرون مثلهم) موضع شبهة وتهديد من قوات الأمن من دون مبرر غير الخلفية العرقية والدينية. وتعاونت عدد من اجهزة الأمن ومنها مراكز الشرطة المحلية، مكتب التحقيقات الفدرالية ال (FBI) ووزارة الأمن الداخلي (DHS) لتشكيل ما يُعرف بالقوة المشتركة لمكافحة الارهاب (JTTF)، والتي اقتطعت اموال من الموازنات العامة من اجل التجسس والإيقاع بأفراد من الجاليات العربية والمسلمة وغيرها في سبيل حرب الولايات المتحدة على الإرهاب. شاركونا يوم السبت الموافق 6/18 في النقاش المجتمعي لمعرفة الكيفية المناسبة للتعامل في مثل هكذا قضايا.

This training is intended for youth, families and activists in the broader community. Come learn about ways to protect yourself, friends and community with digital security, what to do if you or someone you know are visited by law enforcement, or if someone feels that they are being targeted for their political activity.

RSVP by emailing or calling 415-861-7444.

Read NLG statement:

English | Arabic

May Day Event Report Back

Oakland –  Hundreds of people are taking part in a regional march in celebration of this year’s International Workers’ Day, themed Our Vote is in the Streets. Communities traveled from cities across the Bay Area to join people in Oakland for a lively march through East Oakland, beginning in the Fruitvale neighborhood. The regional May Day event this year emphasized the growing movements for workers’ and migrants’ rights, an end to the police and state violence, and international solidarity with all people resisting U.S. imperialism.

A rally began at 12PM that featured inspiring speakers from many different organizations, and exciting performances from the region’s artists and cultural workers, with the march beginning at 1PM.

“As the country is focused on the ridiculous presidential elections, we are here to say that our vote and power is in the streets. Whether Democrat or Republican, this system was not made for us, as Obama’s administration has deported over two and a half million immigrants – more than any other president in history,” said Sagnicthe Salazar of Xicana Moratorium Coalition, one of the lead organizers of the march. “We’re coming together this May Day to amplify the resistance of migrants, workers, and communities of color.”

Speakers during the march made connections between the powerful upsurge of immigrant peoples’ ongoing struggles for civil and human rights across the country, the increased outrage of Black and Brown communities against policing and state violence, and the struggles against U.S. imperialism internationally.

“May Day is a celebration of international solidarity, and the Bay Area is continuing that legacy by marching against state violence, whether that is the policing of Black and Brown communities here, or U.S. imperialism abroad,” says Lara Kiswani of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. “We demand an end to collaborations between oppressive regimes, such as between the U.S. and Israel, and march in solidarity with oppressed people fighting for self-determination all over the world.”

“The US continues its attack on immigrants and people of color, particularly Black communities, but our struggle and organizing have intensified,” says Devonte Jackson of Black Alliance for Just Immigration. “In cities everywhere, the routine violence of the police is being challenged more than ever, and we are here to uplift that resistance, and demand our dignity.”


Media Round-up:

  1. CBS Local 5:
  2. San Jose Mercury:
  3. NBC Bay Area :–377754961.html
  4. SF Gate:
  5. San Jose Mercury:
  6. The Guardian:
  7. CBS:
  8. Real News Network:

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:

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


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AROC & MECA: Feature Remi Kanazi

Photos from last week’s AROC & MECA cosponsored event. Featuring artist Remi Kanazi on the first event of his new book tour. AROC’s own Sharif Zakout was the MC for the night. Opener was local Bay Area poet Sojari Bradley. Thank you all for attending, we were able to pack the venue last week. It was a beautiful night of poetry and resistance.


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Bay Area Arab Youth Speak Out

On February 19th, 2016,  AROC held it’s second community forum Bay Area Arab Youth Speak Out. 7 AYO leaders from 4 different High Schools and 1 college spoke directly about their experiences as Arabs navigating through SF public schools. They spoke about the way in which our political climate makes its way into the classroom, and ways in which they’ve faced anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia. Many highlighted the challenges of not having language access in their schools. All of them spoke about the support they received and how it important it was for them to have family and educators committed to their success. Thank you to everyone who joined us and came out to support our community #AYO #YouthPower



AROC is this year’s Partners in Liberation


Our Annual Testimonial Dinner will be Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. We will honor our Champions of Justice, Jody LeWitter and Pamela Y. Price, Unsung Hero, Gabriela Lopez, and Partners in Liberation, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.

Ready to register?

Show your support for our honorees and the NLG by placing a message of support in the Testimonial Dinner Journal or becoming a ticket sponsor.

Champions of Justice Jody LeWitter & Pamela Price

Jody LeWitter is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan Law School. She moved to California from Michigan in 1986, where she has practiced employment law ever since. Jody’s victories include Behne v. MicroTouch Inc., an employment fraud case in which her client was awarded, what is believed to be, the largest employment fraud verdict in California at the time.

Jody is a long-time member of the National Lawyers Guild, active nationally and locally, holding positions including past co-chair of the Testimonial Dinner Committee, Vice President of the Bay Area Chapter and the Detroit Chapter, and past co-chair of the Central America Task Force. She is also a member of the Equal Rights Advocates Litigation Committee and has volunteered with the Workers Rights Clinic, Legal Aid Society of San Francisco and the Asian Law Caucus.

Jody has received numerous awards and recognition. In 2011, she, along with her firm, Siegel, LeWitter & Malkani, were listed in The Recorder as one of the ten top employee side practices in the Bay Area. She has been named as a Best Lawyers in America for Labor & Employment (2007 to present) and a California Super Lawyer for Employment Litigation (2007 to present).

Pamela Y. Price is a graduate of Yale University and Boalt Hall School of Law. While at Yale, she spent her Junior Year Abroad at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa. Pamela has been a member of the Guild and has worked with other NLG members on cases and continuing legal education seminars over theyears. She has mentored some of the NLG’s most active young leaders.

In 1977, Pamela joined the landmark case of Alexander (Price) v. Yale, the first sexual harassment case brought under Title IX. She was the only plaintiff to proceed to trial in January 1979. The case established that sexual harassment in education is illegal and led to the establishment of grievance procedures at every level of education in compliance with Title IX.

In 1991, Pamela founded her own law firm in Oakland, specializing in sexual and racial harassment and discrimination cases. In 2002, the Firm made legal history in Morgan v. Amtrak by winning the appeal of a defense verdict in the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Pamela successfully argued the case before the Supreme Court.

Pamela has received numerous awards. Every year since 2004, she has been named one of the top 5% of Northern California “Super Lawyers” by San Francisco Magazine. In 2007, she served as the Interim Executive Director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of San Francisco, and she is a past Co-Chair of the LCCR Board of Directors. Her victories at trial and tenacity as a litigator have become legend in the Bay Area legal community.

Unsung Hero Gabriela Lopez

Gabriela Lopez is an Oakland based immigration and criminal defense attorney who practices deportation defense for immigrants with criminal histories and criminal defense for immigrants and activists. She has represented numerous activists and individuals arrested at demonstrations and received the 2015 Law for the People Award for her work on the legal team for the Trayvon 2. Gabriela is on the board of governors for the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a former Co-Chair of The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) of the Guild and a former member of the NLG’s National Executive Committee. Gabriela has developed and conducted know your rights presentations for people affected by discriminatory policing practices and those affected by post 9-11 policies. Prior to law school, she organized low wage cafeteria workers in the Bay Area and advocated for a living wage and worker retention for subcontracted workers.

Partners in Liberation Arab Resource & Organizing Center

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) is a grassroots organization working to empower and organize the Arab community towards justice and self-determination for all. AROC was created in 2007, out of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Arab anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC-SF). Since its founding, AROC’s membership has engaged in work around immigrant and civil rights, and against war, occupation, surveillance and racial profiling. AROC continues to build on the history of Arab organizing in the Bay Area committed to the liberation of all oppressed people, and remains one of the few Arab-led grassroots organizations in the country.

Arab Youth Mobilize for Arabic Language Pathways

After over a year of organizing and advocating for Arabic and Vietnamese language pathways, having the SF Board of Education unanimously pass a resolution to explore the implementation of these pathways, and months of community outreach and participation, the District produced two reports outlining the need, and recommendations for the programs. And on Tuesday, February 2nd, the San Francisco Board of Education met to discuss the feasibility of the pathways and hear from public testimony.

Dozens of community members showed up in support. AROC’s youth program, AYO-Arab Youth Organization, came out in force and spoke up about the experience as Arab youth, the role that language, cultural and community empowerment play in their lives, and demanded that the city respond to their growing needs at a time of heightened islamophobia and anti-Arab racism. Educators, community, and allies all expressed their commitment to supporting this community-led effort.

We are excited about this development. As the BOE is moves forward with discussions about feasibility and implementation, feel free to contact AROC for updates or to get involved in this critical work.

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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
  3. Visit for images and text that you can share. Make sure to include the #Justice4Rasmea hashtag.
  4. Go to 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.

Community Forum: Arabic Language Pathways, حوار مجتمعي بخصوص برنامج ادخال اللغة العربية الى مدارس سان فرانسيسكو


عقد المركز العربي حوار مجتمعي بخصوص برنامج ادخال اللغة العربية الى مدارس سان فرانسيسكو وتحدث بالجلسة كل  من

نور : طالبة عربية من سوريا، تحدثت عن تجربتها مع اللغة عندما هاجرت عائلتها الى امريكا، وكيف تأثرت لغتها العربية بسبب قلة الممارسة وكانت تتمنى لو انها استطاعت ان تستمر بدراسة اللغة العربية بالمدرسة

نورا : طالبة عربية امريكية تحدثت عن تجربتها مع لغتها العربية التى تفهمها جيداً لكنها لا تتكلم بها، وعزت عدم قدرتها على التحدث باللغة العربية لأنها لم تدرسها في المدرسة

دايخة : صحافية ومترجمة اخبار من اللغة العربية الى اللغة الانجليزية، تحدثت عن اهمية اللغة للطفل في حياته وتكوين شخصيته، وتطرقت الى اهمية ان تبنى المناهج في طريقة معينة، وان تحمل مضمون ذو قيمة

رندة : عربية امريكية تحدثت عن اصرارها الطويل لتعلم اللغة العربية، والصعوبة التى واجهتها بحكم عدم وجود مدارس تقوم بتدريس اللغة العربية، وعبرت عن رغبتها الشديدة في تعلم ابنها الذي يدرس في احدى مدارس سان فرانسيسكو اللغة العربية

سامية : معلمة لأكثر من عشر سنوات، ومسؤولة برنامج تدريس اللغة الانجليزية لغير الناقطين بها، وتحدثت عن اهمية تدريس اللغة العربية للأطقال بالمدارس وعلاقة اللغة بالهوية والثقافة العربية، اذ يتعرف الطفل على الشعر والرواية والتاريخ اثناء دراسته اللغة

نبيل : يعمل كمترجم في مدارس سان فرانسيسكو، تحدث عن تجربته مع الاهالي العرب ورغبتهم في تدريس اولادهم اللغة العربية، حيث يعتقد ان ممارسة اللغة العربية بالمنزل ضرورية جداً لكنها لا تكفي، ولكي يستوعب الطفل العربي اللغة ويتقنها جيداً عليه ان يدرسها كمساق خاص بالمدرسة

بالنقاش عبّر الاهالي عن رغبتهم الشديدة بالبرنامج وتطلعهم اليه، وحاول المركز العربي ان يجيب على تساؤلاتهم، وتدوين ملاحظاتهم لايصالها الى الجهات المعنية بالبرنامج

On January 16th, 2016, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center hosted a forum on the Arabic language pathways resolution for SF public schools with guest speakers from the Arab community.

Nour, a San Francisco high school student and active member of Arab Youth Organization of AROC, spoke about her experience with Arabic language as an immigrant from Syria and how her fluency was impacted by her inability to practice speaking, writing and reading her native language. She expressed her enthusiasm at the possibility of continuing to study Arabic in her school.  Nora, also an SF high school student and active member of AYO, spoke as an Arab-American student who understands Arabic very well but doesn’t feel as comfortable speaking it. She attributed her inability to speak Arabic to the fact that it is not offered as an option in school, and her family could not afford private classes.

Daikha, a journalist and parent, talked about the importance knowledge of languages in children’s lives and the impact it has on the formation of their character. She emphasized the importance developing culturally and socially competent curriculum as a means of teaching the Arabic language in the most meaningful and impactful way.        

Renda, an SF parent, talked about her own persistence and struggle to learn Arabic as an Arab American. She also expressed her desire for her son to learn Arabic in San Francisco public schools to support him academically and to connect him to his culture and heritage.

Samia an educator for more than 10 years and currently works for a district in coordinating ESL program, spoke about the importance of teaching Arabic in conjunction with Arab culture, which includes poetry, novels, and history.

Nabil, an interpreter for the San Francisco Unified District, described his experience with the SF parents, and their desire for their children to maintain and learn Arabic. He described how teaching language at home alone is not enough for children to master the language.

At the community forum, the parents expressed her enthusiasm and aspirations for an Arabic Language pathways. AROC facilitated the discussion with the panelists and attendees that reflected the breathe of the Arab community in SF and the significance of Arabic in their lives. The community’s feedback and insight regarding the program will be shared with SF Unified School District.   

Please stay tuned for updates on the pathways resolution and contact AROC to get involved in future efforts.