We Don’t Need No Stinking Mics!

Posted: October 9, 2011 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives
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Imagine a protest that’s so heavily regulated by local authorities that you can’t use microphones, speakers or battery-powered bullhorns. Can you still have a protest without that amplified sound?

The protesters at Occupy Wall Street would certainly say so. They have initiated the use of the “human microphone”. If you’re having trouble picturing what exactly that is, you’re not alone. However, it’s  a lot more simple than you might think. The speaker says about five words of his or her sentence, and the crowd repeats it back to him or her. Still having trouble? Then, picture how loud it would be if hundreds of people repeated those words in unison at the top of their lungs. Yeah, it’s a little deafening.

The Nation’s online website ran an article on Oct. 3, about the “human microphone” concept  being executed by the protest’s participants.  A permit is required in NYC to use any kind of “‘amplified sound’ in public.” Although Liberty Plaza is technically a private area, its owners have chosen to enforce the city’s ban, adding sleeping bags, tents and other equipment to the list as well.

While the “human microphone” may not be the most efficient means of public speaking, it certainly emphasizes the points being made. Plus, it’s attracted more media attention than they would have otherwise. Just goes to show, camaraderie and the human spirit are a powerful combination. Get it guys. Stick it to the man!

-Erin Elzo


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