Communist Workers League statement in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh after being banned from speaking in Germany

Rasmea Odeh
Rasmea Odeh addresses a crowd in Detroit after her sentencing hearing on March 12, 2015. | Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe

By Communist Workers League

Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian activist, freedom fighter and former political prisoner, was recently banned from carrying out a speaking engagement in Germany and ordered to leave the European country. We, as the Communist Workers League (CWL) operating inside the United States, object strongly to the decision to deny this woman the right to address an audience concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people, circumstances which are shared with other struggling oppressed nations throughout the world.

Rasmea was deported from the U.S. in 2017 after waging a valiant legal and political campaign to defeat the charges and later conviction by the federal courts. The treatment of this longtime organizer is reflective of the hostility by successive administrations in Washington to suppress the national liberation movement of the Palestinians for self-determination and independent nationhood against the Israeli settler-colonial regime backed by U.S. state and capitalist system.

During her years of tenure inside the U.S., where she gained permanent resident status and “citizenship,” Rasmea played an important role in Chicago where she assisted countless Arab women in their efforts to gain civil and human rights within a racist society. It was this work which so inflamed the system that they embarked upon a propaganda and prosecutorial campaign designed to vilify her image and important community work.

After being convicted on flimsy evidence by a federal court judge in Detroit, she served several months in a detention facility. Later, based upon the fundamental violations of due process, she was granted the right to appeal her case and released from jail.

Rather than retry the case based on the initial charges, the U.S. Attorneys filed additional claims against Rasmea. As a result of the current political atmosphere in the U.S., she chose to voluntarily leave the country and return to the Middle East.

Our organization stands in complete solidarity with Rasmea and the Palestine nation as a whole. We recognize that the role of the Israeli state is designed to provide a base for U.S. imperialist hegemony in the region.

Therefore, we support efforts by the solidarity movement with Palestine worldwide. We are committed to continuing our work with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns and all other political and cultural work which will contribute to the realization of the aspirations of the Palestinian people. We insist upon the right of the Palestinian people to be heard and understood.

We are going to maintain our strides alongside the Palestinian and all other oppressed peoples around the globe. Rasmea is loved by the genuine adherents to freedom and justice inside the U.S. and internationally.

Communist Workers League

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