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Minneapolis ‘Rock for Rasmea’ big success

By Meredith Aby-Keirstead |
February 26, 2015
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 Members of the Anti War Committee who organized the Rock for Rasmea event.
Members of the Anti War Committee who organized the Rock for Rasmea event. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

On Feb. 21, the MN Anti-War Committee (AWC) held Rock for Rasmea, a multimedia benefit show, to raise money for the legal defense of Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh.

According to AWC member Sophia Hansen-Day, “Over 200 people attended: talented spoken word poets, visual artists and MCs shared thought provoking art, and Rasmea herself shared words on resilience and fighting for your principles. One of the largest Rasmea support events nationally in the campaign thus far, the event was the first in which Rasmea was able to hear crowds chant, 'Justice for Rasmea!' after her Skype talk.

Being able to share such visceral solidarity with Rasmea was among the most moving moments of the event for me.”

More than $6000 was raised, and many people signed up to travel to Detroit for Rasmea’s March 12 sentencing hearing in Detroit.

Karmel Sabri, also a member of the AWC, said, “Rock for Rasmea was a success in the fundraiser aspect but for me the most successful part of the night was raising awareness about Rasmea's case and inspiring people with her story - particularly amongst all the youth that came out to show their support.”

Before Odeh addressed the crowd via live feed from Chicago, Misty Rowan shared two poems, a new one which highlights Rasmea’s story, and an old community favorite that lambasts the FBI for its role in the attack on 23 Midwest international solidarity and Palestinian activists.

Rock for Rasmea set out to engage youth and raise awareness about Rasmea Odeh and all political prisoners targeted by the FBI. The event featured short films curated by Mizna, spoken word poetry, music by several local musicians and a silent auction.

This event was endorsed by the MN Committee to Stop FBI repression, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP UMN), US Palestinian Community Network- Minnesota Chapter, Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign, Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, Middle East Peace Now, Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 Minneapolis, and Women Against Military Madness.

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