"We Are All Human Microphones Now" by Richard Kim in The Nation
(Be sure to watch the video at the end of the article: Michael Moore talking to the protesters at Occupy Wall Street. JD)
Anyone who’s been down to Occupy Wall Street and stayed for a General Assembly will instantly recognize the call and response that begins, and frequently interrupts, each meeting.
“Mic check?” someone implores.
“MIC CHECK!” the crowd shouts back, more or less in unison.
The thing is—there's no microphone. New York City requires a permit for “amplified sound” in public, something that the pointedly unpermitted Occupy Wall Street lacks. This means that microphones and speakers are banned from Liberty Plaza, and the NYPD has also been interpreting the law to include battery-powered bullhorns. Violators can be sentenced for up to thirty days in prison.
But the protesters aren’t deterred one bit; they’ve adopted an ingeniously simple, people-powered method of sound amplification. After the mic check, the meeting proceeds:
with every few words / WITH EVERY FEW WORDS!
repeated and amplified out loud / REPEATED AND AMPLIFIED OUT LOUD!
by what has been dubbed / BY WHAT HAS BEEN DUBBED!
the human microphone / THE HUMAN MICROPHONE!!! (jazz hands here).
The overall effect can be hypnotic, comic or exhilarating—often all at once. READ MORE and WATCH VIDEO