CHICAGO (CBS) — As the downtown hotel workers’ protest stretched into a 7th day, residents living close to the 26 hotels question when it will end. Some residents claim the right to free speech is costing them peace and quiet.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports River North resident Steve Dahlman says the drumming is the worst. Dahlman lives one block and 12 stories away from where hotel workers are making noise.

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“It’s just relentless,” Dahlman said. “It goes on all day.”

He is among the hundreds of residents sounding off on the noisy picket lines at 26 hotels, sending letters of complaint to Alderman Brendan Reilly.

In a letter, Ald. Reilly said his pleas for the mayor and police to enforce Chicago’s noise ordinance have “fallen upon deaf ears,” adding, “we strongly urge you to contact Mayor Emanuel.”

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole asked a hotel worker if he understands how the noise is bothering area residents.

Larry Louis, a hotel worker, responded, “Yes, but they got to understand we have families to support.”

For the most part, excessive noise is off limits in Chicago from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

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The city said noise is a violation if it’s louder than a conversation 100 feet away.

“It’s quite loud,” said a passerby. “When I got here this morning, I thought it was some kind of construction.”

The city’s law department said they reached an agreement with the union to not use any amplified sound or instruments overnight.

Both Ald. Reilly, as well as residents, still have questions regarding the noise ordinance policy, asking questions as to who is policing 100 feet away and what dictates a normal conversation level.


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