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ILPS-US Stands in Solidarity with Rasmea Odeh

Statement by International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) |
October 24, 2013
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the International League of Peoples’ Struggles-U.S.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggles-US chapter condemns the cowardly arrest of 65 year-old Palestinian leader, Rasmea Yousef Odeh. Odeh, Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), was arrested at her home by agents from the Department of Homeland Security on October 22, 2013. Odeh was charged with an alleged immigration violation on a decades-old application.

This latest attack against Odeh, a deeply respected elder and community leader in both the Palestinian and Arab-American communities in Illinois, is part and parcel to the brutal US-Zionist occupation and assault against the Palestinian people (both in Palestine and in the diaspora). Being a Palestinian immigrant Odeh has called many places home but no matter where she lived she always dedicated her life to serving the people.

Over the last decade her advocacy had a special emphasis on the empowerment of immigrant Arab women in Chicago. Having survived years of persecution and torture as a political prisoner in the hands of the US-Zionist state in occupied Palestine, Odeh shines as a beacon of strength and hope for millions of Palestinians and freedom-loving people around the world who dare to dream and struggle for self-determination.

The persecution of Rasmea Odeh and other Palestinian activists here shows the hypocrisy of the US administration's sweet words about peace in the Middle East and recognizing Palestinian self-determination. On the ground in Palestine, the Zionist-Israeli terror forces murder people daily with the weapons they get from the United States. The so-called US budget crisis has interfered with neither the FBI's attack on free speech and civil liberties of Palestinians and Arab Americans here nor the endless flow of US weapons to the Israeli apartheid state.

This arrest is part of the on-going political witch hunt targeting all peoples standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and other oppressed peoples around the world fighting for self-determination. Just like the US government’s coordinated FBI-raids targeting 23 international solidarity activists in 2010, her arrest and persecution is nothing less than a violation of civil, political and human rights. It is also a maneuver intended to silence activism and pre-empt people from seeking justice.

In both situations, the US-government criminalizes both our inalienable and collective human right to self-determination and international covenants that guarantee civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The right to self-determination is a fundamental right, enshrined in both the United Nation Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The ILPS-US recognizes that is not merely a right, but a necessity, that peoples assert their collective rights to wage struggles for self-determination and national liberation in order to defeat free themselves from oppression by imperialist-backed and-financed tyranny.

The ILPS-US recognizes that one of our most powerful actions against political repression in the United States is solidarity. Solidarity that is seen and heard in the streets. We stand in solidarity with just struggles for peace and freedom around the world, and we stand in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh.

ILPS-US calls on all its member organizations and allies to defend Rasmea Odeh.
The ILPS-US stands in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh and demands that the charges be dropped immediately!

The ILPS-US supports the call to action of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression for mass mobilizations on November 1.

Hands Off Rasmea Odeh and all Palestinian activists!

Drop the Charges Against Rasmea Odeh Now!

End All US Aid to the Racist State if Israel!

Stop the Repression against all activists!