28 December 2016
Happy Holidays from Rasmea & Her Defense Committee
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Against all odds, your dedication has helped us wrestle the possibility of victory from the jaws of defeat. We can’t stop, we won’t stop, and we need you to stay with us. Rasmea Odeh, Palestinian community leader, is in Chicago for the holidays, continuing her important organizing work. And she’s home because of you!
After an unjust conviction in Detroit, Rasmea started 2016 facing a sentence of 18 months and the loss of her U.S. citizenship. With your support, and an incredible legal team, Rasmea led the continued fight for justice. You worked hard to share Rasmea’s story at events and actions in cities across the country, and more than once, you got #Justice4Rasmea trending on Twitter. When word came of victory in Rasmea’s appeal, you mobilized to Detroit for the June hearing to ensure she would get a new trial; and you were prepared to go there again for the retrial, where Rasmea would finally tell her story of brutal torture at the hands of Israeli soldiers.
Feeling the heat just weeks before that trial date, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade announced a new attack on Rasmea – a new grand jury indictment that aims to ensure Rasmea stand before a jury as an accused terrorist. This move lays bare what we have said all along – the immigration charge against Rasmea is a pretext for a broader attempt to criminalize the Palestine liberation movement. Undoubtedly, prosecutors also hoped this desperate move would drive Rasmea’s supporters away. We are counting on you to prove them wrong!
As Frank Chapman, Field Organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and one of the main supporters of the Rasmea Defense Committee, has said on many occasions, “Rasmea’s is the most important political trial in the U.S. today!” A new trial date has been set for May 16, 2017. Rasmea’s wonderful defense team – Michael Deutsch, Jim Fennerty, Dennis Cunningham, Bill Goodman, Huwaida Arraf, and other legal workers, clerks, and volunteers – have a mountain of work to prepare the courtroom defense. At the same time, we will have more pre-trial hearings, plus the trial itself, to mobilize supporters to Detroit. So we are going to need at least another $50,000 in the days ahead, for the legal and community organizing expenses.
Thank you again, and Happy Holidays from the Rasmea Defense Committee!