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#OccupyWallStreet Communications Technology: 'If You Cannot Hear, Point Upwards'

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 3 2011

The protesters on Wall Street came up with some new technology for communicating to a big crowd without a microphone: Their own set of hand signals. Here's a basic guide, as laid out in Occupy Wall Street's cleanly designed three-page trifold pamphlet on participating in their general assemblies.

It has also been reported that protesters are using more high-tech tools, such as an anonymous broadcast messaging service, Vibe. When the protests were first getting started, I took a quick inventory of some of the tech tools organizers were using to collect and keep supporters.

This, though, is maybe more versatile. It should be said that hand signals have been part of the community organizer's meeting-management playbook for years, but the folks down in Zuccotti Park are improvising, too.

"If you cannot hear, point upwards," a writer on the protest general assembly's website wrote last week, in a summary of meeting minutes. "At last night’s meeting, they came up with a new hand signal for when a loud noise is coming up on the street, so the person speaking knows to pause until the noise has gone away."