As a sign reading "Barnett Capital, Here Displacement is Strictly Business" flapped in the chill November wind Saturday, protesters stayed warm by chanting, passing out flyers, and getting signatures for a petition against displacement in the Albany Park neighborhood.
Residents of 4834 N. Springfield Ave., many of whom are Centro Autonomo members, say they were given a 30-day notice to move out of their building by it's new owner, Barnett Capital LLC.
Residents claim that this eviction is in retaliation against their attempts to get repairs done on the building and form a tenants' union.
When ownership of the building changed hands in August of 2014, the tenants saw an opportunity for needed changes to be made to the property.
"We got notice before that there were certain code violations, and once the building was sold, we saw it as a perfect opportunity to have those taken care of," explained Barbara Suarez, an organizer with Centro Autonomo. "We brought a building inspector in, he recorded various code violations, including a furnace in the back room, which should be in a separate room by itself."