28 April 2015
UPDATED ACTION: Tell Arab-American Civil Rights League (ACRL) chairman, Nabih Ayad, that Rasmea’s prosecutor deserves no award!
In an article published yesterday by Palestine In America, a spokesperson for the ACRL said that the same U.S. Attorney, Barbara McQuade, who used scare tactics and fear-mongering to prosecute and convict Rasmea, “stood with the Arab-American community in Dearborn when no one else did.” This ridiculous statement ignores McQuade’s immoral public and legal tactics in the unjust prosecution (more below), and is a clear example of political opportunism by an organization that clearly does not represent the community it claims to fight for.
The event is TONIGHT, and we have just obtained Ayad’s office number and email address, so we are asking Rasmea’s supporters to take the following updated action steps to demand that ACRL immediately withdraw its award to McQuade.
– Call the ACRL’s Chairman of the Board, Nabih Ayad, at 734.983.0500, and/or email [email protected], to demand he rescind his invitation to McQuade;
– Tweet the ACRL at @ACRLMICH demanding the same, using #ShameonACRL and #NoAward (you can tweet McQuade’s office at @USAO_MIE as well); and
– Write the ACRL a Facebook message at https://www.facebook.com/acrl.michigan
The Rasmea Defense Committee is angered 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”?
Rasmea Defense Committee