Hundreds in Chicago rally in solidarity with protesters in Egypt
Protesters rally in support of the Egyptian people who have taken to the streets in Cairo to protest against the Egyptian government, on North Michigan Avenue near the Egyptian consulate today. (William DeShazer/Chicago Tribune)
Hundreds of protesters rallied along North Michigan Avenue today, waving Egyptian flags, shouting slogans in Arabic and calling for the immediate removal of President Hosni Mubarak.

The protest in Chicago was among several rallies in U.S. cities that expressed sympathy for the uprising in Egypt that has entered its fifth day, with at least 74 people there reportedly killed in violent clashes with police.

In front of the Egyptian consulate in Chicago, protesters marched back and forth in front as shoppers along Michigan Avenue looked on.

Several demonstrators said they hoped to pressure the Obama Administration into hardening its stance toward Egypt’s leader.

“When injustice is so visible…it makes people angry,” said Amany Ezeldin of Justice, whose parents were born in Egypt.

Egypt-born Al Arif of Schaumburg said he protested to give “spiritual support” for the establishment of “permanent democracy” in Egypt, complete with a new constitution and full press freedoms.

“Egypt needs our support for democracy,” he said.

As of 4 p.m., the protest had been raucous and heavily attended but peaceful.,0,7944372.story