Sunday, July 09, 2006

Front Row Seats for H Street NoiseAPaLooza

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Two women created their own front row for Saturday's hours-long blasting by one group's amplifier—as if they really needed it. Had the decibel levels been lower, perhaps the front row would have been closer to the assembled stage and blaring amplifier. The seated audience cheered when the ISUPK speaker said he celebrated with a bottle of wine the deaths of people at the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)

And we're back.

I vacated the city last weekend as a break from the H and 8th noise issue—the first this year. According to neighbors, the usual noisemaking fellows who blast the northeast neighborhood for hours nearly every Saturday also were absent. I can only surmise that these proud Americans were celebrating the country's freedoms of speech, assembly and religion as part of the Independence holiday.

But they were back in force on July 8 and as amplified as ever.

Twelve men strong, the cammo-clad fellows stretched out along the H Street sidewalk. I noticed a few new recruits among their ranks—one of whom previously was a bystander and now proudly sported the group's insignia and stood guard with a stick.

In the meantime, the residents in and around the 700 block of 8th Street NE support freedom of speech, assembly and religion. It's on our list to check in with the City Council to see if any progress has been made on fixing D.C.'s broken noise law which permits UNLIMITED decibel levels of amplified, non-commercial speech between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.—ANYWHERE in the city.

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