The people’s microphone is a no-tech solution to the problem of public speaking where amplification is not allowed or possible.  It came to widespread attention during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests, but has probably been used in earlier protests.  It involves a leader reading a text one short phrase at a time;  each phrase is then echoed by a  group of surrounding people.  In large crowds, there may be several concentric circles of repeaters, leading to widespread dispersion of the message.  Here is a good example:

This no-tech technology taps into an ancient ability that we take for granted: the ability to speak in unison.  A later post will illustrate another, and much older, use of chant-as-technology.  It employs a variant of the call-and-response format that is a frequent property of both prayer and protest chants.  In this case, call and response are identical.

In the above example, the joint speech is augmented by the use of hand signals that have formalized meanings related to the agreement or disagreement of the individual with respect to the message content.  This is a nuanced variant in which the collective and individual intention appear to find parallel expression.

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