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Tuesday, March 5

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The Mechanics
« Housing & Crime in Uptown Eye On #OCHI: Focus on Free Speech »

National Politics Sat Jan 21 2012

One Day, Two Downtown Protests

Two demonstrations occurred downtown on Saturday. A group of demonstrators gathered in support for the people of Egypt, while another unrelated group marched through the streets in support of sustainable seafood.

About 30 people gathered in front of the Egyptian Consulate, located at 500 N. Michigan Ave., and shouted, in Arabic, in support of the people of Egypt and against the military council currently in control.

Demonstrators could be heard shouting, "Yaskout, yaskout hakm el-askar," meaning, "Down, Down with the military rule."

Others chanted in English, chanting statements such as, "Hey Obama, can't you hear? People are dying in Tahrir," referring to Tahrir Square, where the infamous Egyptian protests happened last spring.

"[Chicagoans] are facing a lot of the same issues as Egypt, especially after last week," said Joe Scarry of Midwest Antiwar Mobilization, referring to the ordinance passed last week that created stricter protest regulations in preparation for the G8/NATO summit.

A couple blocks away, supporters of sustainable seafood marched with Greenpeace in the Mermaid Parade, a demonstration against the tuna fishing practices of Chicken of the Sea.

The march, consisting of about 20 people, stopped in front of a Jewel-Osco on Grand Avenue and State Street to urge the grocery store chain to stop carrying products from Chicken of the Sea.

"What do we do to keep fish for a long time?" shouted demonstrators. "Stop using FADs, stop using long lines," referring to fishing practices which result in by-catch, which is when creatures other than the intended catch are affected.

Chicken of the Sea has a by-catch rate of about 30 percent, said Mary Kim, the Greenpeace organizer for the march.

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