coronavirus illinois

Protesters Converge on Chicago’s Loop as Extended Stay-at-Home Order Begins

The crowd grew bigger as the afternoon arrived, with more than 100 people believed in attendance by noon

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A group of protesters gathered in Chicago's Loop Friday to call on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reopen Illinois' economy.

As of the morning hours, the group consisted of a few dozen people, some wearing masks and holding signs that read "We Demand Illinois Opens Now" and "Let Freedom Ring." That crowd grew bigger as the afternoon arrived, with more than 100 people believed in attendance by noon.

A group of protesters gathered in Chicago’s Loop Friday to call on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reopen Illinois’ economy.

The group chanted "we want our freedom back" and cheered as cars honked in Chicago's streets.

"We need to balance safety and economic concerns," said Chicago teacher Froy Jimenez. "It shouldn't be exaggerated and it shouldn't be extremes.

Some also gathered to counter-protest.

The demonstration is the latest in a series of protests around the country against stay-at-home orders, which are aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. A corresponding rally was expected to take place in Springfield Friday.

Illinois' modified stay-at-home order took effect Friday and continues through May 30. The order requires masks for people in public places where social distancing isn't possible. It also allows for the reopening of certain businesses and parks.

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