Against the Current, No. 186, January/February 2017
Fighting Back for Survival
— The Editors
Obama's Legacy & the Rise of Trump
— Malik Miah
- The Black Lives Matter Response to Trump
Eyewitness at Standing Rock
— an interview with Rebecca Kemble
Canada's State of Reconciliation
— Gayatri Kumar
- New Trial for Rasmea Odeh
MA Stops Charter School Expansion
— Dan Clawson & John Fitzgerald
Chicago Teachers Settle Contract
— Robert Bartlett
When the Alt-Right Hits Campus
— Angela D. Dillard
- Putting the Racist Flyers at University of Michigan in Context
- Faculty & Staff Statement Against Racism
Creating a Socialism that Meets Needs
— Sam Friedman
A Better World in Birth
— Karin Baker
- US Politics After November
Who Put Trump in the White House?
— Kim Moody
The Green Party After the Election
— Howie Hawkins
— Howie Hawkins
Hope in Dark Times
— Chris Maisano
Trump Not "Exceptional"
— Jeff Wilson
Actually, I am Anti-Police
— Alice Ragland
- Black History Retrospective
Birth of the Abolitionist Nation
— Derrick Morrison
"The Slave-Holding Republic"
— Jennifer Jopp
How "Race Neutral" Policy Failed
— Prudence Cumberbatch
Survival Is the Question
— Michael Löwy
Macaroni & Cheese and Revolution
— Ursula McTaggart
RASMEA ODEH, THE Palestinian community activist in Chicago who was convicted in 2015 for “fraudulent procurement of naturalization” when she obtained her U.S. citizenship in 2004, has won a new trial. (For some background on the case and trial, see https://solidarity-us.org/node/4412.)
This is an important victory for Odeh and her defense team, who successfully argued on appeal that the Federal Judge Gershwin Drain hadn’t properly considered the admissibility of testimony about her torture under Israeli interrogation in 1969, and her expert witness, Dr. Mary Fabri, regarding post-traumatic stress that affected her memory of what happened.
When an appeals court panel in Cincinnati sent the case back to the trial judge for review, Judge Drain scheduled a hearing for November 29. The day before it was to take place, the court announced that the hearing was cancelled and the judge would rule in writing.
A December 6, 2016 statement from the Rasmea Defense Committee explained:
“Michigan Federal Judge Gershwin Drain reviewed written arguments, and ruled today that Palestinian American community organizer Rasmea Odeh will be granted a new trial.
“Last year, Rasmea was sentenced to 18 months in prison and deportation after being convicted in 2014 of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, a politically-motivated immigration charge, for failing to disclose on applications for U.S. citizenship that she had been arrested decades earlier in Palestine by Israeli authorities.
“At the original trial, Rasmea was not allowed to tell the entire story of Israel forcing her to falsely confess to alleged bombings in 1969, when she endured over three weeks of vicious sexual, physical, and psychological torture at the hands of the Israeli military.
“The government argued that Judge Drain should again exclude Fabri’s testimony. Despite recently subjecting her to 17 hours of clinical mental examination[ordered by the court to test her PTSD claim — ed.], the government’s own expert affirmed the diagnosis of PTSD, and reported that Rasmea was not faking any symptoms.”
The new trial is scheduled to begin January 10. Defense attorneys are hopeful a jury that finally gets the opportunity to hear testimony about torture and PTSD will find Rasmea not guilty. In what has always appeared to be a politically motivated prosecution, how the pending change of federal administration may affect the government’s stance is difficult to assess.
UPDATE: As we go to press, U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade has announced a “superseding indictment” bringing a new charge of “terrorist activity” against Rasmea. Please call McQuade’s office (313-226-9100) and ask her to drop the charges. For information visit www.justice4rasmea.org or email email@example.com.
January-February 2017, ATC 186