I have a theory that NYC did the movement a great favor when the banned loudspeakers. The “human microphone” is creating bonding between OWS participants that it wouldn’t have, otherwise. I can’t prove that, but it seems clear enough.
For one thing, there’s research to show that “when people engage in synchronous activity together, they become more likely to cooperate with other group members.”* I take it that they also tend to bond more. Also, one of the videos I saw of the human mic showed a girl that seemed almost deliriously happy just repeating the words of the speaker. I suspect that she was more emotionally expressive than most people, but that less expressive people also felt the same thing. (I suppose that you could call her a ‘happiness canary’ ).
ScienceDaily (Feb. 2, 2009) — Armies train by marching in step. Religions around the world incorporate many forms of singing and chanting into their rituals. Citizens sing the National Anthem before sporting events. Why do we participate in these various synchronized activities? A new study, published in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that when people engage in synchronous activity together, they become more likely to cooperate with other group members.
It’s a great irony if the upshot of a rule of OWS, imposed from outside it, led to OWS’s success.
IF THE NYC POLICE DEPARTMENT RESCINDS THEIR BAN ON LOUDSPEAKERS, I HOPE OWS IS WISE ENOUGH TO POLITELY IGNORE THEM.