Since its opening in 2006, John Paul Jones Arena has not been a stranger to screaming crowds and loud noises. It has heard the roaring engines of monster trucks, ear piercing guitar solos and of course, the raucous cheers of the University of Virginia Cavaliers faithful.

On Saturday, the noise came from just outside its front doors.

Hundreds gathered in the parking lot of the arena armed with pots and pans, drums, car horns and chants of “Defund the police” as part of the Defund the Police Block Party.

At around 6:25 p.m., demonstrators took to the streets, marching down Massie Road and turning left onto Emmet Street. They marched down the middle of the street pausing only to kneel in silence for a few moments before resuming their chants and continuing to the intersection of Emmet Street and Barracks Road.

At the intersection, the crowd massed around a police vehicle and a public works truck. Organizers led chants and gave a few speeches before handing the megaphone to members in the crowd who felt compelled to speak.

After about two hours, the crowd headed back toward John Paul Jones Arena and the Charlottesville Police Department declared Emmet Street and Barracks Road open just after 9 p.m.

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    A confederate flag is burned in the parking lot of John Paul Jones Arena during the Defund the Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Activist Zyahna Bryant addresses a crowd of hundreds in the parking lot of John Paul Jones Arena during a Defund the Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    An organizer wears a protective mask during the Defund the Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Protesters march east on Massie Road toward Emmet Street during the Defund the Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Don Gathers, center, was among the participants in the Defund the Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Participants in Saturday's Defund the Police Block Party were encouraged to bring noisemakers.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    A crowd of hundreds blocks the intersection of Emmet Street and Barracks Road in Charlottesville during the Defund the Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Protesters march north on Emmet Street toward Barracks Road Shopping Center on June 13 as part of the Defund the Police Block Party.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Protesters kneel along Emmet Street during the Defund the Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Participants in the June 13 Defund the Police Block Party were encouraged to bring noisemakers.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Don Gathers participates in the June 13 Defund the Police Block Party.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Participants hold up signs during the Defund the Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Zyahna Bryant addresses a crowd of hundreds in the parking lot of John Paul Jones Arena during the June 13 Defund the Police Block Party.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Zyahna Bryant and other organizers address a crowd of hundreds in the parking lot of John Paul Jones Arena during the June 13 Defund The Police Block Party.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Participants in the Defund The Police Block Party hold up a banner on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    An organizer of the Defund The Police Block Party leads chants on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

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    Participants hold up signs during the Defund The Police Block Party on June 13.

    Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow