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Tampa in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh

By staff |
May 29, 2014
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Tampa action demands justice for Rasmea Odeh
Tampa action demands justice for Rasmea Odeh (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Tampa, FL - A group of Tampa activists gathered at the intersection of 56th Street and Fowler Avenue, May 27, to show support for Rasmea Odeh, an Arab American leader in Chicago. Cars honked and people waved as the activists chanted, "From Tampa to Palestine, solidarity is not a crime!"

Rasmea Odeh is associate director of the Arab American Action Network and won a prestigious award last year for community organizing in Chicago. Odeh was arrested on bogus immigration fraud charges, Oct. 22, 2013, and is now facing trial in a Detroit, Michigan.

The group of Tampa activists who gathered to spread the word included Mel Underbakke of the National-Coalition-To-Protect-Civil-Freedoms, Jared Hamil of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and Marisol Márquez of Raíces en Tampa.

Márquez related, "Like Rasmea Odeh, different immigrants living in the U.S. understand how their battles are at times very similar. People like Odeh are a target of U.S. government repression because they are effective at organizing against U.S. intervention and war. As a member of Raíces en Tampa, I speak on behalf of my organization knowing that we will fight against Odeh's deportation. We will not rest until the threat is over - of Odeh being separated from her friends and family."

Jared Hamil of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression added, "Anti-war and international solidarity activists are always under the scope of the FBI and Justice Department. If they're not repressing you, they're planning on it. Activists should not be scared by these attacks. As we saw with the case of Chicano leader Carlos Montes, when people unite and fight back against political repression they can win."

Rasmea Odeh has a new court date in Detroit, Oct. 21. See the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (www.StopFBI.net) for more information. Cities across the country are organizing Rasmea Odeh solidarity events leading up to her next appearance.