Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle http://www.fightbacknews.org/ This newspaper exists to build the people's struggle! We provide coverage and analysis of some of the key battles facing working and low-income people. en Rasmea Odeh accepts a plea agreement with no prison time http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/23/rasmea-odeh-accepts-plea-agreement-no-prison-time <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Rasmea Defense Committee.</em></p> <p>Rasmea Odeh, the 69-year old Palestinian American community leader who was tortured and sexually assaulted by the Israeli military in 1969, is bring to a close her battle to win justice from the U.S. legal system.</p> <p>After living in this country for over 20 years, Rasmea was charged in 2013 with an immigration violation that was always just a pretext for a broader attempt to criminalize the Palestine liberation movement. She has spent the last three and a half years leading a powerful battle to resist this attack, joined by hundreds of supporters for every court appearance, and thousands of supporters across the country and the world. However, the prospects for a fair trial are slimmer than ever. The prosecution team is now under the regime of racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a new superseding indictment re-frames this as a case about “terrorism” rather than immigration. There is the great likelihood that a jury would be prejudiced by hearing the zionist Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel call Rasmea a “terrorist” and her supporters “mobs and hordes,” as he has done many times before. As a Palestinian who has dedicated her life to the cause of liberation, it is impossible for Rasmea to expect a fair trial in U.S. courts.</p> <p>In 1969, as a college student, Rasmea was arrested by the Israeli police, along with as many as 500 others, and accused of involvement in two bombings. She was horrifically tortured for 25 days (including electric shocks and sexual assault), as was her father in her presence; and then tried before a kangaroo Israeli military court. This tribunal has military officers, and not civilians, as prosecutors and judges, and convicts over 99% of its Palestinian prisoners. She was found guilty based on a confession coerced through torture, and then given a life sentence. In 1979, she was freed with other Palestinians in a prisoner exchange.</p> <p>In her 2014 trial in U.S. federal court, where she was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison for allegedly giving false answers to questions on her applications for permanent residency and citizenship, Judge Gershwin Drain prohibited the defense from challenging the legality of the military tribunal or offering proof of her innocence of the bombings. She was also not allowed to put forward that she suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the torture, but she won an appeal and a new trial expressly based on the excluded torture evidence. Its back against the wall, the government then filed a vindictive new superseding indictment that falsely accused Rasmea of being a “terrorist” and a member of a “designated terrorist organization.”</p> <p>Under this current, racist political climate, and facing 18 months or more of imprisonment, as well as the possibility of indefinite detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Rasmea has made the difficult decision to accept a plea agreement. She will plead guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, lose her U.S. citizenship, and be forced to leave the country, but will exit the U.S. without having to serve any more time in prison or ICE detention, a victory, considering that the government had earlier fought for a sentence of 5-7 years. Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch and Tukel clearly want to dodge a public and legal defense that puts U.S.-backed Israel on trial for its crimes against Rasmea and its continuing crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.</p> <p>Through a massive, organized defense campaign, Rasmea Odeh—a long-time icon of the Palestine liberation movement—is now a name known in every corner of the movement for social justice in the U.S. From the Movement for Black Lives in Ferguson, Chicago, and beyond, to the call for a global #WomenStrike on International Women’s Day, Rasmea has become synonymous with resilience and resistance. This fight not only brought her story to the U.S. and the world, but also pushed forward the cause of the liberation of Palestine. She exposed Israel for what it is – a racist occupier and colonizer – and put its policy of torture and sexual assault on the permanent record in a U.S. court of law.</p> <p>We had practical victories too. When the first judge assigned to Rasmea’s case was exposed as a lifelong supporter of Israel, and it was then found that he had direct financial ties that affirmed this bias, he was forced to remove himself from the case. After the first trial led to a conviction that did not hold up under appeal, Rasmea was taken immediately into custody. Supporters mobilized to demand her release. Within weeks, the movement had helped to post her bond, and Rasmea was back in Chicago, planning her successful appeal and continuing her important community organizing. And Rasmea never once walked into a courthouse alone. Whether by the dozens or the hundreds, at every hearing, every day of trial, from Detroit to Cincinnati, we were with her.</p> <p>Rasmea’s choice today was not easy, but nothing in this journey has been, and our support continues to be critical. Soon, a hearing date will be set for Judge Drain to consider the plea agreement. We will again call for All Out to Detroit and stand beside her on that difficult day. After that, Rasmea will continue her incredible organizing work wherever she is, and so will we.</p> <p>As she said to supporters outside the courthouse after the initial verdict, “There is justice in this world, we will find it. We will face injustice and we have to change this world, not just in this country, in all the world in all the places there is no justice, we have to bring the justice together. In spite of everything, we are the stronger people, not the government who is unjust.”</p> <p>The case of Rasmea Odeh presents us all with an example of how to resist. The current political climate is formidable. The Muslim Ban, attacks on Latino immigrants and Black people, the cuts to programs serving women … these and other attacks will call on each of us to be unwavering, like Rasmea; to be consistent like her supporters; and to never run scared or fall silent in the face of injustice.</p> <p>Rasmea Defense Committee, led by U.S. Palestinian Community Network and Committee to Stop FBI Repression</p> <p>March 23rd, 2017</p> <p>#Justice4Rasmea</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/23/rasmea-odeh-accepts-plea-agreement-no-prison-time#comments Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:31:00 +0000 Fight Back 6004 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Solidarity march and rally will stand with American Muslim community http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/21/solidarity-march-and-rally-will-stand-american-muslim-community <p>San Jose, CA - On Saturday, March 25, the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC) and the South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA) will be co-sponsoring a day of solidarity with the American Muslim community. A march of solidarity will begin in San Jose Japantown and will end with a rally at San Jose City Hall.</p> <p>75 years earlier, on March 24, 1942, the U.S. government imposed a curfew on Japanese Americans living on the West Coast. The same day, the first roundup of an entire community took place on Bainbridge Island, Washington, across Puget Sound from Seattle. The curfew also led to one of the first acts of resistance, when Japanese American lawyer Min Yasui deliberately broke the curfew to test the legality of Executive Order 9066 on March 28, 1942.</p> <p>After the November 2016 election, there has been a rise in anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments. Then on Jan. 27, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13769, which sought to ban travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. In response, states filed lawsuits that led to a court injunction against the ban, while grassroots protests of thousands of people happened at airports across the country.</p> <p>According to a statement from the day of solidarity organizers, “NOC and the SBIA would like to invite you to a grassroots day of solidarity between Japanese Americans and American Muslims on Saturday, March 25. The event will begin in San Jose Japantown at the corner of 5th Street and Jackson Street at 11:00 a.m. and will proceed down 6th street to a rally at 12:00 p.m. at San Jose City Hall on 5th and Santa Clara Streets. The event is free and open to all who wish to oppose the growing anti-Muslim sentiments and government actions today.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/21/solidarity-march-and-rally-will-stand-american-muslim-community#comments People's Struggles Anti-racism Donald Trump Islam Muslim Ban Racism Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:34:56 +0000 Fight Back 6003 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Kids Against Trump march in Minneapolis http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/20/kids-against-trump-march-minneapolis <p>Minneapolis, MN - On March 19, about 20 people gathered at Wabun Park to join the Kids Against Trump rally and march through Minnehaha Falls Park.</p> <p>Audrey, 8, organized the kids’ rally with her friends from Windom Elementary School. She and many children were upset after the election of Donald Trump in November and wanted to do something. Other kids from Windom and Southside Family Schools joined with parents and friends to voice their frustration. They started off their march chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!”</p> <p>People at the park heard the protesters chanting, “Ain’t no power like the power of the kids because the power of the kids don’t stop.” The march winded around the park to the falls, “From Palestine to Mexico, all walls have to go!” Many people at the park gave thumbs up and smiles to the march which was led by kids.</p> <p>The march went back to the gathering spot and the kids continued the rally. Leila, 12, from Southside Family School said, “Today the rally might be small but everything starts small. We just gotta continue to do this all because Trump doesn’t deserve to be in office. He has done horrible things and he is racist, xenophobic and sexist.”</p> <p>Cedar, 10, also from Southside Family School, rapped, “U.S. is doing too much war, as time ticks on we are fighting more and more. And the weapons have upgraded from bows to guns and now we are fighting with nuclear ones. The only power to stop this is the power of all, otherwise the country will fall.”</p> <p>Andrea, 7, also from Windom School, stated “You have to treat others as equals. Building walls between America and Mexico is a bad idea. I feel the walls divide. Walls can even divide family members from each other. We have to talk to the government to stop this from happening.”</p> <p>The rally ended with chant of “Not my president” and snacks and playtime at the park. Kids Against Trump will keep organizing in their schools and together.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/20/kids-against-trump-march-minneapolis#comments Antiwar Movement Donald Trump Donald Trump Kids Against Trump Student Movement Mon, 20 Mar 2017 20:22:22 +0000 Fight Back 6002 at http://www.fightbacknews.org White rapist freed http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/white-rapist-freed <p>Los Angeles, CA - Brock Turner is a 22-year-old white Stanford University swimmer jock who nobody cared about, until he decided to rape an unconscious woman (“Emily Doe”) behind a dumpster. His disgusting face should be familiar to all of you.</p> <p>Turner faced five counts against him: two for rape, two for felony sexual assault, and one for attempted rape, but was only charged with three counts of felony sexual assault. Judge Aaron Persky, who let Turner off with the slap on the wrist sentence has a victim-blaming history. In 2011 Perksy allowed into evidence seven photos of a gang-rape survivor taken at a party she attended - approximately a year after the gang rape. The photos would help get accused members of the De Anza basketball off the hook.</p> <p>The most unfortunate part of it all is that the survivor remembered nothing from the assault, so the entire trial would be molded and twisted by Turner. Turner completely denied any guilt or wrong-doing, and even stated at one point he thought the survivor had consented when she “rubbed his back.” Per Turner’s attorney, the survivor had only said three words the entire night, “Yes.”</p> <p>“Emily Doe” will always be remembered as the brave survivor who addressed her attacker in the courtroom by writing him a jaw dropping letter. In her letter, the survivor addressed the following: Turner never once admitted to his guilt and learned nothing from the trial, when the media blasted Turner, they always included his swim scores to make people sympathize with him, and the two Swedish students who caught Turner helped convict him.</p> <p>As women, and especially as working-class and oppressed nationality women, we are not surprised that Turner would be released so soon. Turner’s own father said his son’s “20 minutes of action” should not determine the rest of Turner’s life. The survivor was subjected to horrible scrutiny and questioning; all of which perpetuate a long U.S. history of victim-blaming and a biased opinion that women who are raped are responsible for their own rapes.</p> <p>In freeing Turner, the U.S. justice system shows its priorities; white, upper-strata men are free to rape and attack women. Meanwhile, working-class undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans are deported for trying to simply provide for themselves and their families. And Black men and Chicano men are gunned down for buying iced tea, as with 17-year-old Trayvon Martin from Sandford, Florida, or graffitiing a wall like 14-year-old Jesse Romero from East LA.</p> <p>Today I learned a valuable lesson: if we want justice, we have to make the U.S. ungovernable. Stop rape, not teach women how to “not get raped.” Let us liberate ourselves from the oppression we experience not only in our neighborhoods, workplaces, while we try to jog or walk, but even in our homes. And as a working-class Chicana, say you side with us and not the well-off, white, rapists like Brock Turner.</p> <p><em>Sol Marquez is a Chicana member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization.</em></p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/white-rapist-freed#comments Opinion Brock Turner rape Women's Movement In-Justice System Sun, 19 Mar 2017 23:13:40 +0000 Fight Back 6001 at http://www.fightbacknews.org New York protests of the murder of Basil al-Araj continue http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/new-york-protests-murder-basil-al-araj-continue <p>New York, NY - On the March 17 the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Network organized an action where several dozen protesters gathered near Union Square to honor Basel al-Araj on the day of his burial and to continue protesting the regime the killed him. </p> <p>Al-Araj was murdered on March 6, when Israeli Forces found his hiding place and for two hours rained bullets and rocket fire until they confirmed the kill. Al-Araj had recently been released by the Palestinian Authority after a hunger strike, but his legal charges for wanting to fight the U.S.-backed Israeli apartheid regime weren’t dropped. Al-Araj knew that once Israeli forces captured him, he would be sent straight to prison, so he evaded them for around a year before they found him and extra-judicially executed him. </p> <p>Protesters chanted for the better part of an hour and handed out flyers regarding the Al-Araj case. As the protest coincided with Saint Patrick’s Day, one of the chants was, “From Belfast to Palestine, occupation is a crime.” </p> <p>At the end of the protest there were several people read statements. Sapphira Lurie, from Fordham Students for Justice in Palestine, read Al-Araj’s will. </p> <p>Joe Catron, an organizer with Samidoun, read a statement that the group signed on to that urged people to stand together to fight for the liberation of Palestine. </p> <p>The protest ended with an announcement to join the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Network next Friday for their weekly protest.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/new-york-protests-murder-basil-al-araj-continue#comments People's Struggles Basil Al-Araj Palestine Palestine Samidoun-Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Sun, 19 Mar 2017 21:10:27 +0000 Fight Back 6000 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Minneapolis anti-war march blasts Trump’s wars http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/minneapolis-anti-war-march-blasts-trump-s-wars <p>Minneapolis, MN - Over 150 people joined an anti-war protest in Minneapolis, March 18 to mark 14 years since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. </p> <p>The protest gathered on the West Bank neighborhood and included a march through the neighborhood. The neighborhood is home to many Somali immigrant families. </p> <p>In addition to marking the anniversary, activists focused on the escalation of war planning by the Trump administration. Trump has plans, and has taken steps, to dramatically increase the level of U.S. military intervention in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and elsewhere.</p> <p>The protest was sponsored by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC) and was organized under the call of “Stop Endless U.S. Wars – Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan – From Iraq to Standing Rock, No More Oil Wars – Say NO to New U.S. War Threats – Iran, Korea &amp; Everywhere, Say No to Racism &amp; Islamophobia, Funds for Human Needs Not War.”</p> <p>A statement issued by organizers says, in part, “March 2017 will mark 14 years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. After years of endless war, Trump wants a massive increase in the Pentagon budget and is moving to escalate the multiple wars and interventions. We say enough!”</p> <p>The statement goes on to say, “The U.S. is very much at war today, with troops, air strikes, drone attacks under way in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and more countries. In addition, the Trump administration has threatened military action in Iran and Korea.</p> <p>“U.S. intervention will do nothing to fight terrorism. U.S. wars, air strikes and drone attacks are terrorism. The U.S. war machine does not intervene to protect people or to fight terrorism, but to serve U.S. economic interests. The peoples of the Middle East must be able to set their own course and future without U.S. intervention,” the statement concludes.</p> <p>Speaking at the rally Meredith Aby-Keirstead, a member of the Anti-War Committee said, “In the past two months President Trump has taken a foreign policy situation he inherited - in which the U.S. was already at war in multiple countries - and has thrown gasoline on the fire.” </p> <p>“Trump says he’s sending in 1000 more ground troops in Syria which will double U.S. forces there and will escalate and prolong the six-year conflict. He has escalated the war in Yemen and increased drone attacks by 432% - which beats Obama, who was previously number 1. Trump proposed a $54 billion increase in military spending which would increase the largest military budget in the world by 10%. On March 1 Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor at the time, issued a statement ‘officially putting Iran on notice’ and yesterday his administration said that a pre-emptive strike against north Korea isn’t off the table,” Aby-Keirstead continued.</p> <p>Groups that endorsed the protest and helped get out the word for people to join included, Anti-War Committee, Black Lives Matter, Saint Paul, Every Church A Peace Church, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Filipinos for Immigrant Rights in MN, International Socialist Organization (Twin Cities), Mayday Books, Military Families Speak Out (MN chapter) , Native Lives Matter, Rise Up Times, St. Paul Eastside Neighbors for Peace, St. Joan of Arc Peacemakers, Socialist Action, Students for a Democratic Society (UMN), Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Veterans for Peace, Women Against Military Madness and Workers International League.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/minneapolis-anti-war-march-blasts-trump-s-wars#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement antiwar Iraq minneapolis Syria Sun, 19 Mar 2017 21:07:10 +0000 Fight Back 5999 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Trump budget: Attacks on poor and working class, claims tax cuts for rich ‘compassionate’ http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/trump-budget-attacks-poor-and-working-class-claims-tax-cuts-rich-compassionate <p>an José, CA - On Thursday, March 16, President Donald Trump presented his first budget proposal to Congress. That proposal, combined with his backing of the House Republican American Health Care Act (AHCA) proposed the week before, add up massive cuts to programs that help the poor and working class, together with large tax cuts for the rich. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told the press with a straight face that the budget proposal was “compassionate” even though those facing the biggest cuts are children, seniors and the disabled.</p> <p>The biggest single hit is the AHCA cuts to Medicaid, the federal health program for poor Americans. Over the next ten years, the federal government will spend $880 billion less on Medicaid. States, which operate the program, must pay more and/or cut health care for the poor. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that this will lead to 14 million poor Americans losing their health insurance. About two thirds of Medicaid spending goes to children, seniors and people with disabilities. The AHCA would also eliminate more than $300 billion from subsidies for working class individuals to buy health care. Last, but not least the AHCA repeal of the mandate that larger companies provide health care benefits for their workers would lead to 7 million more workers and their families losing their health care over the next ten years.</p> <p>Trump’s budget proposal entirely cuts federal funding for 19 agencies and 61 more programs to save $54 billion next year alone. This money would go to the U.S. military to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq started under the Bush administration, and the third war being started by Trump in Syria with the introduction of U.S. combat forces. In addition to the programs and agencies being cut entirely such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, many other federal programs that help protect the environment, fund transportation and infrastructure, nutrition aid for pregnant women and children (WIC), weatherization of homes to conserve on energy, health research and education, would face steep cuts as high as 30% next year.</p> <p>Many of the programs that the Trump budget proposal would mainly hurt are programs that benefit poor and working-class Americans. One of these would be the elimination of all $385 million in funding for the Legal Services Corporation, which is a major source of money for Legal Aid in 134 counties across the country. This will lead in large cuts in legal support for poor and working-class Americans, who will be even more at the mercy of unscrupulous bosses and landlords who try to cheat their workers and tenants. 70% of Legal Aid clients are women and a majority are white.</p> <p>Another program that would be eliminated is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP, that helps poor and working-class households pay for expensive energy bills in the winter. In 2014, the LIHEAP gave aid to 5.7 million households to pay for heating, 673,000 for air conditioning, and 1.7 million more households whose power was about to be turned off. 90% of the households getting help from LIHEAP include children, seniors or disabled people. In households getting aid from LIHEAP, one-third reported going without food, and 40% sacrificed medical care to keep warm and the lights on. In fact, the main problem with LIHEAP is that it is underfunded, as only about 20% of eligible households are able to aid before the annual budget of $3 billion.</p> <p>The poor and working class in rural areas that largely voted for Trump would take a hit from the budget proposal to eliminate $180 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, and the Northern Border Regional Commission. These agencies help fund roads and bridges, water and sewer projects, and job training in some of the poorest rural areas along the border with Canada, Appalachia, and the Mississippi delta.</p> <p>Last but not least, the ACHA would totally eliminate Federal funding for Planned Parenthood next year. Right now, Planned Parenthood provides services to about 2.5 million women and men each year. Most of their centers are in rural or poor urban areas that lack health care resources. The cuts in funding for Planned Parenthood are part of the large cut to funding Medicaid.</p> <p>The Trump administration has not yet made its tax proposal for next year, which is expected to have large tax cuts for the rich, by eliminating the estate tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax, that helps to prevent millionaires and billionaires such as Trump from paying any taxes by limiting tax breaks for high-income taxpayers.</p> <p>But the ACHA does cut taxes for the rich by eliminating the taxes used to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare). These taxes targeted for elimination include an investment income tax, and a Medicare surcharge for high income households that reward the rich with almost $300 billion in tax cuts over ten years. Health insurance companies would get another $150 billion in tax cuts during this time.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/trump-budget-attacks-poor-and-working-class-claims-tax-cuts-rich-compassionate#comments People's Struggles Donald Trump Donald Trump Healthcare U.S. Sun, 19 Mar 2017 18:41:28 +0000 Fight Back 5998 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Minneapolis rallies for ‘No Muslim ban and no wars’ http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/minneapolis-rallies-no-muslim-ban-and-no-wars <p>Minneapolis, MN – Despite cold and rain, 60 people rallied in Minneapolis to voice their opposition to Trump’s Muslim Ban, March 16. Starting the rally out were chants of “Hey Trump, let’s be clear: Muslims are welcome here!” and “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA!” which reverberated off the glass of both the Federal Court Building and the Minneapolis City Hall across the street. The protest was organized by the Minnesota Anti-War Committee. </p> <p>The protest’s speakers represented the broad coalition necessary to defeat Trump’s Muslim ban and included Imam Hassan Mohamud, Director of the Islamic Dawah Center; Stephanie Taylor, Anti-War Committee; Imam Hassan Jama, Executive Director of Islamic Association of North America; Brad Sigal, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee’s No More Deportation Campaign, and Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations - MN. The diverse speakers emphasized confidence and resolution with the latest court victory against Trump’s Muslim Ban. </p> <p>The critical role played by protests in the streets in defeating Trump’s agenda was a common theme of all the speakers, and was underscored by Stephanie Taylor of the Anti-War Committee, who stated, “This racist ban was halted by popular outpouring of opposition combined with legal challenges from movement lawyers. However, we must challenge ourselves to continue the resistance and we are here with you to continue to fight back.”</p> <p>Brad Sigal of MIRAC’s No More Deportation Campaign explained the pressing nature of immigrant raids and deportation campaigns in his speech, “There have been over 3 million deportations and families separated in the last eight years and now Trump wants to increase that even more. We say, ‘Enough is enough!’ This is not a faraway issue. This is happening right here, right now, all around us.”</p> <p>Jaylani Hussein of the Council on American Islamic Relations - MN urged those present to come to the “10,000 who CAIR Call to Action” on March 25 from 4 to 8 p.m. at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in Saint Paul, an effort to “activate 10,000 Minnesotans in the fight against bigotry and hatred.”</p> <p>Hundreds of thousands, including tens of thousands in the Twin Cities, protesting in the streets, airports and other locations were critical to pushing for these defeats of Trump’s agenda. It was also clear that despite the current legal setbacks, the Muslim ban and other parts of Trump’s racist agenda will only be defeated by millions in the streets. The necessity of broad, militant coalition of forces was typified by Hassan Jama when he reminded the crowd that we must demand, “No ban, no wall, no wars! Unite!”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/19/minneapolis-rallies-no-muslim-ban-and-no-wars#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement Anti-racism Donald Trump Minnesota Anti-War Committee Muslim Ban Immigrant Rights U.S. Sun, 19 Mar 2017 18:33:20 +0000 Fight Back 5997 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Important motion to suppress filed by Rasmea Odeh defense http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/17/important-motion-suppress-filed-rasmea-odeh-defense <p>Detroit, MI - Michael Deutsch, Jim Fennerty, and the rest of the legal defense team for Rasmea Odeh are gearing up for trial, now scheduled for May 30. New motions filed this week put the question of Israel and its torturers front and center, and will be considered at a hearing on April 25 (moved from April 4). </p> <p>One motion calls on Judge Gershwin Drain to suppress all evidence procured through torture. Citing the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the constitution, and international law, including the Convention against Torture, Deutsch argues that any evidence based on Odeh’s confession to the Israelis in 1969, which came as the result of an illegal arrest and subsequent torture, cannot be allowed a hearing in court.</p> <p>In a second motion for discovery, Deutsch is asking the prosecutors for all evidence relating to Odeh’s arrest and torture, including the names of her torturers and any “use of force” guidelines the Israelis used in the late 1960s. Israel still regularly employs the use of torture against Palestinians, including children. In court, these documents will help to prove the systematic nature of decades of Israeli torture of Palestinians, and as it relates to this case.</p> <p>In Odeh’s case, her torture was documented by the United Nations, and again by psychologist Dr. Mary Fabri, a world-renowned torture expert, during Fabri’s clinical evaluation and subsequent diagnosis of Odeh’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In her written affidavit to the court, Dr. Fabri recounts the horrific details of Odeh’s torture at the hands of the Israelis, including physical beatings, intentional medical neglect, psychological torture, and sleep deprivation; being forced to witness the torture of her friends and family; and, of course, the sexual assault and violence to which she was subjected.</p> <p>These new motions follow the filing weeks ago of one that takes aim at a “vindictive” superseding indictment filed by the U.S. Attorney following the appellate court decision that reversed Odeh’s conviction. The new indictment accuses Rasmea Odeh of “terrorism” by alleging she was a member of a Palestinian political party on the U.S. State Department’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations. The most important question Judge Drain will consider at the upcoming hearing is whether to allow the new indictment at all, which is being challenged by the defense on a number of legal fronts, including for violating the statute of limitations. </p> <p>“If the indictment is thrown out, we know that Rasmea can win this case at trial,” said Muhammad Sankari of the Rasmea Defense Committee in Chicago. “If it’s not, Rasmea and her team are ready for a fight. She survived brutal torture at the hands of the Israelis, and that should not be used to help the U.S. government persecute her today.”</p> <p>Judge Drain will rule on all the motions at the next pretrial hearing, which has been moved from April 4 to April 25,or shortly thereafter. </p> <p>The Rasmea Defense Committee is urging supporters to pack the courtroom in Detroit. The defense committee states, “We are calling on all of Rasmea’s supporters to meet us on Tuesday, April 25, in front of the U.S. District Court at 231 W. Lafayette Blvd in downtown Detroit, Michigan, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, for a rally before the 2:30 p.m. hearing.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/17/important-motion-suppress-filed-rasmea-odeh-defense#comments People's Struggles #FreeRasmeaNow #Justice4Rasmea Palestine Political Repression Rasmea Odeh Immigrant Rights In-Justice System U.S. Sat, 18 Mar 2017 03:33:59 +0000 Fight Back 5996 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Tampa rallies against mosque attack http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/17/tampa-rallies-against-mosque-attack <p>Tampa, FL - On March 10, a small group of dedicated activists came together to stand against the recent firebombing of a local mosque. The Islamic Society of New Tampa was the victim of an Islamophobic arson on Feb. 24, the sixth since last year.</p> <p>The link between the election of Donald Trump and the sharp rise in Islamophobic attacks is very clear. As the Trump administration continues to push hate-filled rhetoric and policies which attack Muslim-Americans, racists and fascists are emboldened. </p> <p>The Tampa Anti-War Committee will continue to organize around this and make sure justice is served.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/3/17/tampa-rallies-against-mosque-attack#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement Donald Trump Tampa Anti-War Committee U.S. Sat, 18 Mar 2017 03:21:22 +0000 Fight Back 5995 at http://www.fightbacknews.org