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Tampa rallies in support of Palestinian American leader Rasmea Odeh

Por Jess Schwartz |
June 14, 2016
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Tampa rallies in support of Rasmea Odeh. (FightBack!News/Staff)

Tampa, FL - The Committee to Stop FBI Repression - Tampa (CSFR-Tampa) held a rally attended by 15 activists and community members here, June 13, at the corner of 56th and Fowler Avenue, to stand with Palestinian American leader Rasmea Odeh.

Odeh had a status hearing in Detroit Federal Court that same day. The status hearing resulted in a hearing being set for Nov. 29 that will deal with expert witness testimony in her case. A tentative new trial was set for Jan. 10, 2017.

Tampa has a history of political repression, including Palestinian Dr. Sami Al-Arian. Dr. Al-Arian was deported to Turkey in 2015 after being targeted for speaking out against Israel and providing resources to Palestinian children. One CSFR-Tampa activist faced FBI harassment this past January.

Homam Nasser of CSFR-Tampa led the rally with chants such as "Out of our communities, out of our mosques. FBI, go get lost"!and "DOJ, let's be clear: Rasmea is welcome here!"

Speakers talked about how Odeh’s case and the repression of Palestinian-Americans is connected to the ongoing occupation of Palestine and part of the broader ‘war on terror.’ Muaaz Hassan, a community activist, said, “The Rasmea Odeh case is a malicious prosecution and a political show-trial designed to intimidate activists and stifle free speech, which is in opposition to the Zionists genocidal plans for the illegally occupied Palestinian people.”

Danya Zituni of CSFR-Tampa recognized how organizing the people won victories in Odeh's case, stating, "It was solidarity that won the appeals jury ruling that the exclusion of Rasmea's testimony of torture was wrong and that she should be retried, with a chance to deliver her testimony. And today, it was solidarity that removed racist Prosecutor Jonathan Tukel from the case."

Noah Peretz from Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) said,"By organizing over these issues, we send a message to the DOJ, FBI and other federal municipalities that the people will continue to fight for justice.”

"The reason Rasmea has not already been jailed and deported is because of tight organization of groups such as the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and United States Palestinian Network," said Gage Lacharite of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. 

CSFR - Tampa will continue to stand with Rasmea Odeh and fight back against repression. To get involved, please visit Facebook.com/TampaCSFR and e-mail [email protected].

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