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People's Thanksgiving Dinner to raises funds for Rasmea Odeh defense

By staff |
December 6, 2013
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Chicago, IL - Since 1992, activists with Fight Back! news, some of whom are members of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, have held a People’s Thanksgiving dinner. According to Joe Iosbaker, “It was started as part of a movement to protest 500 years of colonialism and to celebrate the resistance of the indigenous people.”

Each year the dinner has recognized activists and organizations that have contributed to struggles in Chicago and around the country.

This year, there is urgency to the gathering. Rasmea Odeh, a beloved activist in the Palestinian community in Chicago, is under attack by the U.S. government. The Sunday, Dec. 8 dinner will raise funds for her defense, in addition to helping to keep publishing Fight Back!.

Hatem Abudayyeh, a friend of Fight Back!, and himself a victim of repression, said, “The FBI and the U.S. attorney in Chicago have used political repression against 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists for the past three years. Now the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. attorney in Detroit are victimizing Rasmea.”

Odeh faces 10 years in prison and deportation if she is convicted of falsifying her application for citizenship.

Along with Rasmea Odeh, the dinner will honor two activists with the Anti-War Committee-Chicago: Newland Smith, a longtime fixture in the Palestine solidarity movement, and Sarah Simmons for her role resisting Mayor Emanuel’s attack on the Chicago Teachers Union and public education. Pete Camarata, a founder of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, will be recognized for his lifelong efforts for the cause of working people. And the continued struggle for justice for Trayvon Martin will be highlighted by a Skype message from Michael Sampson, a Dream Defender who occupied the State Capitol in Florida after the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

For more information on the dinner, go to