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Dear PoP/Friday Question of the Day

by Prince Of Petworth August 13, 2009 at 11:42 pm 104 Comments

black israelites 001, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Dear PoP,

I’m a big fan of free speech – yay soapboxes for whackos – but shouldn’t there be restrictions on pure noise? I know this issue has popped up before – streetcorner idiots with amplifiers that can be heard two blocks away. These guys are particularly ugly, but I don’t really care what the cause is – I shouldn’t have to hear it over a loudspeaker in my neighborhood. Anyone know what the deal is? ”

I remember talking about these guys before. They’re often outside of the Columbia Heights metro. And I know that H Street, NE has dealt with a similar situation. I find them terribly irritating. But here is my serious FQoTD – how far does free speech extend? Can anyone set up outside the metro and spout whatever they want, whenever they want? Where is the balance between tranquility and free speech? Is it just a decibel level? Maybe I should set up next to them and start preaching about the beautiful life? Anyone got my back? Warning, I bruise and bleed easily…

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