“The Sign Guy” at Daley Plaza
Farhad Khoiee-Abbasi’s perpetual protest in downtown Chicago.
Wed Oct 12 2011
Q Who the hell is this guy and what is he protesting? He’s been at the intersection in front of Daley Plaza for years.—Julie M. VanEenenaam, Ravenswood
A The Picasso isn’t the only dependable sight in Daley Plaza. There’s also “the Sign Guy,” a well-groomed, middle-aged man in perpetual protest. Nearly every day for the last five years, Farhad Khoiee-Abbasi has stood statue still with his sign propped on the fire hydrant at the corner of Clark and Washington Streets. He’s a man of few words, preferring to let his loud signage and T-shirt, as well as his persistence, speak for him. Despite his silence, Khoiee-Abbasi allowed a few details: In 2006, he claims, the FBI blocked his visitation rights to his only child, an incident that set off a series of hunger strikes. For someone supposedly refusing food, though, he appears fairly well fed. “Sometimes I just go a day or two without eating,” the self-described concerned father says, “but I’ve gone as many as weeks. It’s about suffering. Right now, people are out eating lunch while I eat nothing.”