Sunday, March 26, 2006

ISUPK Says Noise Could Be Worse

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) During a sidewalk conversation Saturday, Yahanna (right) and one of the fellows from the Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) joke that my photographs will intentionally make Yahanna appear not so handsome. (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)

Of the 12 Saturdays so far in 2006, the fellows from the Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) were absent from the southeast corner of H and 8th Streets NE on only two occasions—Feb. 6 and 13. Beyond those two snowy days, the group was loud and proud.

Yahanna is the name of the fellow with whom I’ve managed to have cordial conversations in the past. Whether he is the group’s official leader, I’m unsure. But his presence seems to instill some manners to the rest of the fellows. In a good-natured way, he accuses me of using “Quest for Quiet” to slander his group.

A neighbor on Friday, March 24, witnessed the ISUPK group’s usual Friday rant and rave at the at the Metro Center Station entrance on the corner of 12th and G Streets NW. They were not using the amplifier, and I asked Yahanna about this during our sidewalk conversation

He replied that they do use it there, but not all the time. He added that the ISUPK doesn’t always use it at H and 8th Streets NE either. Yahanna is technically correct, but the last time this occurred was on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2005.

So, how do they decide on those few times to not use the amplifier?

Yahanna said it simply was an internal decision between the guys in the group. He didn’t elaborate further, but I offered to quote him verbatim:

“When you move into D.C., everyone has to expect some protest at some time, within certain reasonable hours and limits. I don’t believe David and his cohorts would be attacking us for so many reasons other than the sound device. Now the Big Guys have joined in because they want to see H Street changed.”

I pointed out that the neighbors in and around the 700 block of 8th Street NE support the ISUPK’s right to assemble and speak on the corner—we only desire they stop using the loud amplifier for hours and hours every Saturday.

But who are these so-called “Big Guys” that have joined in support of the neighborhood?

Yahanna said he couldn’t recall the Big Guys’ name, but was sure it wasn’t the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (6A and 6C). From my experience, I’m certain he’s not talking about the D.C. City Council.

Yahanna reminded me that the amplified noise could be much worse.

He said his group could choose to use much larger loudspeakers that would really blow out the entire neighborhood. However, he said, the group chooses to use the smaller, 13-pound amplifier—as if he was doing the community a favor.

I agreed that there was a loophole in the law allowing hours of amplified speech (with no apparent decibel limit) anywhere in the District of Columbia. For the sake of quiet, the statute needs fixing.

As we spoke, I pointed to a yellow plastic bag, which covered the operational amplifier. Yahanna shrugged and said he did not know why it was covered this week—but kiddingly suggested it was to reduce the noise.

Funny guy, that Yahanna.

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Yahanna embraces a man who identified himself as Cuzzo (right). He apparently was moved by the ISUPK’s words on Saturday. Note that the blaring amplifier was shrouded in a yellow plastic bag for unexplained reasons. (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)


Anonymous Zachariyah ben Yaacob said...

The ISUPK acting civil? Maybe there is some hope for this group after all.

11:40 AM  

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