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.
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.
Speakers from AROC, Critical Resistance, and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement reminded us that our struggles are interconnected, 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.
To get involved in the bay area rasmea defense committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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 then WE STOOD UP AND SAID…
WE ARE HERE!
WE ARE YOUR COMMUNITY!
WE ARE THE WOMEN RASMEA CREATED TRUST AND CONFIDENCE WITH
WE ARE THE PEOPLE WITH WHOM RASMEA BUILT THE MOST PHENOMENAL BONDS OF SAFETY, COMMUNITY, AND LOVE
And when the judge said, she has nobody, we said to Rasmea:
WE ARE YOUR FAMILY!
AND WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HEARD RASMEA SAY…
DO NOT BE SAD
DO NOT BE SCARED
WE WILL FIND JUSTICE SOMWHERE IN THE WORLD
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,
SHE IS LIKE MY MOTHER!
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!