How to fight road building with noise pollution

Noise pollution is one of the worst things about roads going through, or close to, cities. To protest the plans for building a new highway ring around Stockholm (capital of Sweden), activists from and Klimax made a noise pollution action outside the Swedish parliament. This highway was planned to cross many neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Stockholm, as well as going through one of Sweden´s most famous national parks. We wanted to show the politicians responsible for building this highway that it’s not very pleasant to have to live, work or spend your leisure time close to a six file highway. A noise pollution action is very simple, you basically just bring the noise from a highway to a place where there currently isn’t any car traffic, and by doing so you’re making it very clear how much car traffic is ruining everyday life.

Video from the noise pollution action outside the Swedish parliament (The name of this action was “Buller och bullar” which means noise and cinnamon rolls. It is always a good idea to hand out sweets with your flyers)

Making noise pollution in 9 easy steps

What you need: recording device, portable music player, loud speakers, amplifier, electricity, flyers, (sweets).

  1. Find a nice location to do the action (we did it outside the Swedish parliament on a day when they where planning this highway)
  2. Record the noise from an already existing highway
  3. Put it on your portable music player
  4. Write and print flyers explaining why you’re doing the action and the horrors of noise pollution
  5. Write a press release and contact journalists who are interested in this subject.
  6. The hardest one: you need electricity to power your amplifier. If you can find some place to plug it in close by that’s the optimal sollution. We used a car battery and a power converter.
  7. Send out the press release early in the morning the same day as your action
  8. Go to the location for the action and crank up the volume!
  9. Enjoy (and bring some earplugs, the noise is really terrible)

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