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Salt Lake protest: 'Rasmea is standing strong!'

By staff |
November 18, 2014
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Salt Lake City protest demands freedom for Rasmea Odeh
Salt Lake City protest demands freedom for Rasmea Odeh (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Salt Lake City, UT - Activists rallied in front of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building on Nov. 16, as part of a national week of action in support of Palestinian American leader Rasmea Odeh. Participants were urged to write letters of support to Rasmea Odeh, now in Saint Clair County Jail, Port Huron, Michigan. Supporters are also making donations to her defense fund. Information can be found at

Relaying popular frustrations with Rasmea’s unjust trial and conviction, protesters did a call and response, “Jonathan Tukel: Guilty! Judge Drain: Guilty! This whole damn system: Guilty!” The group of 20 also chanted “There’s no justice! There’s just us!”

In spite of their frustration with the verdict and the immediate jailing of the beloved Chicago activist and social worker, activists are committing to organize to free Rasmea Odeh. “Rasmea is standing strong!”, said Alyssa Ferris of the Revolutionary Students Union, “It is so important that everyone came out today to stand strong with her.”

Speakers emphasized that targets of U.S. government repression, such as Odeh, are those who challenge the agenda of U.S. imperialism. Anti-war and Palestine solidarity activists, especially Arab Americans and Muslims are being targeted to create a climate of fear that can then justify U.S. wars and occupations in the Middle East.

Amending the famous quote by German pastor Martin Niemöller to emphasize the direness of the situation, Gregory Lucero of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization shouted to those gathered, “First they came for the Anti-War 23. Then they came for Carlos Montes. Then they came for Rasmea Odeh. The difference is, that each time, we did speak out, and eventually we won. We will try to win for Rasmea too!”

After the speeches, protesters chanted, “When Rasmea Odeh is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”