Sunday, May 21, 2006

Free Speech Should Not Mean Forced to Listen

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) A man recoils from the touch of a stick-carrying member of the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) who attempted to move the man away from the stage assembled on the public sidewalk. Yahanna, in the bright red garments, eventually persuaded the man to move back. The exchange happened Saturday at the southeast corner of H and 8th Streets NE. (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)

Above the typical city cacophony of buses, trucks and sirens blared the jarring amplified noise. It blasted residential homes and apartments in and along the 700 block of 8th Street NE yesterday. The amplified speech wailed from about 3 p.m. until after 8 p.m.

With no apparent municipal limit on decibel levels of amplified non-commercial speech, the sound reverberated throughout the residential neighborhood. The noise jumped fences, poured through open windows and peppered people and pets alike.

Free speech is woven into the very fabric of our country. The neighbors whole-heartedly embrace the First Amendment. But just because a person has a right to say something should not mean another must be forced to hear it.

"The unwilling listener is not like the passer-by who may be offered a pamphlet in the street but cannot be made to take it. In his home or on the street he is practically helpless to escape this interference with his privacy by loud speakers except through the protection of the municipality," wrote the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1949 decision KOVACS v. Cooper.

The municipality of Washington, D.C., must step up and be that protector.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Klav you are a dirty stinking "LIAR" the man in the photo loves to hear "ISUPK" speak on that particular day he was drunk any asked to back up a little from the stage. People reading should realize that you are simply taking pictures and making outlandish statements that very rarely depict what is actually happening.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Klav said...

I stand by my blog postings.

Readers should know the official ISUPK videographer is visible in this photograph. Perhaps we can watch and listen to the "truth" about this event.

6:23 PM  

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