'Reopen Illinois' demonstration held in Chicago

  • Protesters rally Friday against Illinois' stay-at-home order outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.

    Protesters rally Friday against Illinois' stay-at-home order outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. Associated Press

  • Friday's demonstration in Chicago's Loop drew about 300 people.

    Friday's demonstration in Chicago's Loop drew about 300 people. Associated Press

  • Deborah Pepper holds an American flag during Friday's 'Reopen Illinois' rally outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.

    Deborah Pepper holds an American flag during Friday's 'Reopen Illinois' rally outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. Associated Press

  • A protester holds a sign Friday outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. The demonstration was the latest in a series of protests around the country against stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

    A protester holds a sign Friday outside the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. The demonstration was the latest in a series of protests around the country against stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/1/2020 7:21 PM

Anger and frustration were palpable Friday in the Loop as hundreds of people gathered in the Thompson Center plaza to rally against restrictions that have left scores of people across the state out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the crowd was small early in the day, it grew to about 300 people -- still a far cry from the crowd of 5,000 organizers had anticipated. Street closures were minimal, and the group stayed put at the northwest corner of Randolph and Clark streets throughout the morning and afternoon.

 

"We are still the land of the free. There are still independent people who can think for themselves and who can protect their own self-interest as they see fit," former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica told reporters.

• For the complete report, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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