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Rasmea Odeh on Hopes, Dreams and Freedom in Palestine and the U.S.

By Rasmea Odeh

In the early morning on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Rasmea Yousef Odeh, Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, was arrested at her home by agents from the Department of Homeland Security. Sixty-five years old at the time, she was indicted in federal court that same morning and charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, an allegation based on answers she gave on a 20-year-old immigration application. Her arrest is part of a broader pattern of persecution by the federal government of Arabs and Muslims that are outstanding and outspoken leaders in their communities throughout the United States. On November 10, 2014, without a full and fair trail, Odeh was found guilty. She was detained at the St. Clair County Jail in Port Huron, Michigan pending sentencing. In March, almost 200 supporters filled two courtrooms in Detroit at her sentencing hearing where Judge Gershwin Drain sentenced Odeh to 18 months. Currently out on bond, Rasmea Odeh offered these words at the Incite! Color of Violence conference “Beyond the State: Inciting Transformative Possibilities.”