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Tampa activists show solidarity with Rasmea Odeh and Palestine

By staff |
August 2, 2014
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Protesters holding the banner. (FightBack!News/Staff)

Tampa, FL – Local anti-war activists met in front of the Sam Gibbons Federal Courthouse on Aug. 1 to demand, “Drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh!” This was in response to her pre-trial hearing in Detroit the day before, on July 31. Rasmea Odeh’s defense attorney Michael Deutsch had made a motion for Judge Borman to step down due to his political and financial support for Israel. In the Detroit courtroom, Judge Borman responded by refusing to recuse himself from the trial, claiming he could be fair and impartial, and that his donations were purely charitable.

Rasmea Odeh is a target of U.S. government political repression because of her work with Palestinian, Arab Americans and Muslims in Chicago. She speaks out against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In 1969, the Israeli military tortured, raped and imprisoned Odeh for ten years. She moved to the U.S. 20 years ago, and has been a citizen for ten. It is because she allegedly did not write about the Israeli imprisonment on immigration forms that the U.S. prosecutor is claiming she committed fraud.

At the protest, Catherine Lim, an immigrant rights organizer said, “We’re witnessing history repeat itself in front of our own eyes. We’re witnessing apartheid. We’re witnessing genocide. We’re witnessing Israel steal Palestinian land through the extermination of Palestinians.”

Jessica Schwartz with the Committee to Stop FBI Repression said, “The case is closely tied to the Anti-war 23, a group of Midwest activists raided by the FBI in 2010. Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas, who is conducting the case against the 23, was present in the courtroom in Chicago when Rasmea was arrested.”

“Rasmea Odeh’s community knows she supports them, and this is a threat to the agenda the US wants to push on other countries,” said Marisol Marquez from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. “We will continue supporting her fight, the fight of the Palestinians to keep their land. From Colombia to Palestine, solidarity is not a crime.”

For more information visit www.stopfbi.net.