An argument against the Occupy protests in NYC which a co-worker frequently makes is that they annoy the residents with the constant drumming. Speaking as someone who considers camping where there are all night drum circles *vacation*, I can understand that argument – incessant drumming can get to be annoying (I much prefer melodic acoustic instruments), but the kids and I have had no trouble falling asleep to a tribal beat performed by hundeds of swarthy would-be belly-dancing accompainists. I did a quick survey of news articles to gauge how the residents near Zuccotti Park may have felt about Occupy drum circles, and lighted upon this recent article (Nov 14th) in the Times.
Since Sept 17 when the Occupy Wall Street protests began, there have been 175 complaints about noise from residents near Zuccotti park about construction on the nearby World Trade Center which frequently continued on till 2am. During that same time there were 115 complaints about drumming or music or talking. The Times article interviews some residents who claim that the Occupy folks were far better neighbors than the Port Authority during this time – meeting with them and working to address concerns, unlike the Port Authority.
If you have spent any time in the city over the last 10 years I assure you that the loud booming you usually can hear for blocks around you is NOT coming from an acoustic drum, either. For years folks everywhere have been subjected to the amplified electronic beat box of a thousand Honda Civics scraping the ground under the weight of their 2000 watt stereo systems – the only difference is that like the passing train, they don’t stay in the same place for very long so its hard to actually catch these guys – so nobody tries.
There are plenty of other arguments to be made against allowing the Occupy folks to continue camping in Zuccotti Park, but I don’t think drum circles is a very good one.