Saturday, December 24, 2011

Can Chicago Walk Like an Egyptian?

Yesterday, people in Chicago marched in solidarity with protesters in Egypt and other countries that are part of the Arab Spring - including Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and Palestine.

Tadamon/Solidarity -- January 25 -- Tahrir Square
Arab Spring
(Photo courtesy FJJ)

It was a day for sharing the message of solidarity with the Arab Spring with people up and down Michigan Avenue.

We stand in solidarity with
 * Egypt

(Photo courtesy FJJ)

It was a day for interrupting the flow of Miracle Mile shopping with a rally in front of the Egyptian Consulate.

Stop exporting TEAR GAS
(Photo courtesy FJJ)

It was a day for delivering a message to the representatives of the current government in Egypt.

Leading chants in front of the Egyptian consulate, Chicago
(Photo courtesy FJJ)

It was a day to hear the latest updates from Tahrir Square.

Call for solidarity with Palestine
(Photo courtesy FJJ)

It was a day to express respect.

(Photo courtesy FJJ)

On the day that Chicago was standing in solidarity with Egypt, Egypt was once again standing up for its rights.

Egypt: Tahrir Square, December 2011

By coincidence, the day before had seen a press conference about threats to civil liberties in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanual has introduced changes in local law to sharply limit the rights of Chicagoans and others to express dissent.

In Chicago, we talk a good game. We talk as if we're not going to let anyone push us around. But when push comes to shove, will we insist on our right to free speech and free expression, or will we cower in our our homes and apartments?

Walk like an Egyptian
(Photo courtesy FJJ)

Chicago can talk the talk. Now it's time to find out: can we walk the walk?

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(See What's New in Chicago: Connecting the Dots - US Aid, Boeing Weapons, Gaza Massacre, Chicago Complicity )

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(See Chicago Protests Guantanamo Detention

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(See Making the Chicago-Pakistan Connection )