Sunday, September 10, 2006

‘Death’ and ‘Faggot’ Blare Over Bus, Trimmer

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Looking north toward H Street NE on Saturday, Sept. 9: A Metro Transit bus (left) idles and an 8th Street resident trims his yard while rude and uncooperative Israeli School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) men use an amplifier to disturb the neighborhood. (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the noise from an idling city bus is about 80 decibels, while a weed trimmer is about 95 decibels. At H and 8th Streets NE Saturday, the blaring amplified speech originating from the corner was loud enough to easily be heard over the Metro bus and a trimmer at one neighbor’s house.

In fact, residents inside their homes, H Street business patrons and bus passengers could clearly hear the yellers several times proclaim, “Death to Christianity, death to Islam, death to faggots, death to the white man and death to America!”

In typical fashion, the amplified men called a passing man walking two dogs a “faggot.” The dog walker—at a disadvantage without an amplifier—simply waived them off. But the amplified ISUPK wouldn’t let up. They shouted at the man as he crossed H Street. They said he was a “faggot” and “had sex with his dogs, too.”

Noise level is one factor, but so is the sound’s duration: The bus noise lasted about three minutes while people boarded. It took the neighbor about ten minutes to trim his yard. The amplified speech spanned more than four hours.

The residents of all shapes, sizes and colors living on H Street support free speech—we simply want the amplifier quieted. A municipality should protect all citizens from unreasonable noise that disturbs “quiet enjoyment” of the community. Also unjust is forcing any person—inside the privacy of the home—to hear someone advocating for the reluctant listener’s “death.”

(CLICK TO ENLARGE) An ISUPK member uses sign language as he proclaims through the blaring amplifier “Death to Christianity, death to Islam, death to faggots, death to the white man and death to America!” That’s fine if you want to say (and sign) it, but spare the entire neighborhood, please. (Copyright © 2006. David Klavitter)

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