Chicago, IL

Tenant Faces Eviction Over Refusing to Remove Palestinian Flag Outside Apartment in Logan Square

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Property management firm initiates action against resident who refuses to abide by lease agreement

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Photo byAshraf Hendricks/Groundup [CC BY-ND 4.0]

Controversy is unfolding in Logan Square, Chicago, as a resident faces the possibility of eviction over displaying a Palestinian flag outside her Northwest Side apartment. Manal Farhan, who has flown the flag since October in solidarity with the people of Palestine during the Israel-Hamas War, is at odds with property management company M. Fishman and Co. The company claims the flag violates the lease agreement prohibiting the placement of any article outside windows, on exterior walls, or on the building's roof.

M. Fishman and Co. argue that the lease clause, specifying "any article," encompasses various items, from sports flags to holiday decorations, aiming to ensure the community's well-being and safety. Responding to the situation, the North Spaulding Renter’s Association (NSRA) has initiated a petition urging M. Fishman and Co. to revoke the eviction notice. The NSRA asserts support for both the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and Chicago tenants' freedom of political expression, rejecting any lease terms restricting such freedom.

Despite the brewing dispute, Farhan remains steadfast, saying that she will not take down her flag. Meanwhile, M. Fishman and Co. have commenced the process to terminate her lease, setting the stage for a complex legal and ethical debate over freedom of expression within leased properties.


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