CHICAGO (CBS) – An Evanston woman says she is facing harassment from an anonymous neighbor after putting a sign in her yard that says “RESIST.”
Ursula Arsenault says she has had the 2.5-foot tall letters have been in her yard for most of the year, and they don’t mean what you think.
“It’s a more general statement to the political and social climate,” she said.
But the word and its presumed meaning touched a nerve.
“Your sign has our neighborhood concerned and many feel it is in bad taste,” an anonymous letter Arsenault got Monday reads. The letter, amidst typos and grammatical errors, says her display is bringing down neighbors’ spirits and property values and asks her to take it down.
“I wonder about the energy that they chose to put into it in the sense that they’re fired up enough about it to want to say something but not willing to accept a response,” Arsenault said.
The letter is signed “Your Neighbors.” It arrived in an envelope with “Jenner and Block,” a Chicago law firm, printed in the return address space. A Jenner and Block spokesperson says the firm hasn’t used that envelope style since at least 2012.
And it’s not the first letter of its kind sent in Evanston.
Gallery owner Lisa Degliantoni got a similar letter with the similar “your neighbor” moniker last year, criticizing her Black Lives Matter sign and stating “You might not want to align yourself with a terrorist organization like the Black Lives Matter Movement.”
“It’s gotta be the same person,” Degliantoni said.
She gave her letter to police but points out the letter’s free speech irony.
“I think it’s a weird way to say that my significance is higher than yours in terms of what you get to say,” she said.
Both Arsenault and Degliantoni find the letters’ anonymity irksome.
“I would be more than happy and willing to respond to them,” Arsenault said.
“I don’t think the person who’s writing these letter is interested in engaging,” Degliantoni said.