Protest at Chicago’s Egyptian consulate expected to draw hundreds to support Egyptian grassroots movement for democratic change
Chicago, ILÂ – Local activists will rally in solidarity with Egyptians protesting to overthrow the Mubarak dictatorship at 2PM on Saturday, January 29 in front of Chicago’s Egyptian consulate, located atÂ 500 North Michigan Ave. on Chicago’s Gold Coast.Â
The protest call, which went out locally last night by social media, has already drawn hundreds of confirmations of participation, including from a growing number of local Muslim and Arab advocacy groups. The action was convened by a loose group of peace activists, youth and Egyptian Americans, in response to appeals from Egypt for solidarity actions at Egyptian consulates across the world to support mass protests in Egypt against the Mubarak regime and its abuses.
Protesters are also calling for a halt to U.S. military aid to the Mubarak dictatorship, which totals more than $1.3 billion annually, and for theÂ regime to end its shutdown of internet and cell phone communications and widespread attacks on news reporters.Â
Reporters, photographers and television crews from news agencies including the BBC, AP, the UK’s Guardian newspaper and Al Jazeera have been attacked or arrested by government security forces in recent days. On Friday, the Mubarak regime moved to shut down all internet access and cell phone networks and to derail communications via Twitter and Facebook as a way to suppress word of the popular uprising.Â
Inspired by the successful popular ouster of the Tunisian dictatorship and the continued mobilizations in that country for justice, the Egyptian people have organized massive marches and rallies throughout their country for the past four days, fighting off vicious police attacks and mass arrests to call for the ouster of the hated Mubarak regime. Local activists say this move to end yet another repressive regime in the Middle East and North Africa demands support from democracy advocates across the world.Â
Groups mobilizing for Saturday’s protest now includeÂ American Muslims for Palestine-Chicago,Â Amnesty International, theÂ ANSWER Coalition,Â the Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism,Â Council on American Islamic Relations-Chicago,Â theÂ Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago,Â the International Socialist Organization,Â MAS Freedom FoundationÂ – Chicago,Â United States Palestinian Community Network.