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New York police have prohibited protesters from using a public address system because they do not have a permit for their demonstration. So the protesters have adopted a system of hand signals — fingers up for agreement, down for disagreement — and a “human microphone” in which the crowd repeats each word so that everyone can hear.

On Friday night the General Assembly meeting lurched along through this call-and-response system.

“The GA …” shouted a member of the Facilitation Committee.

“THE GA!” bellowed the crowd.

“… is now …”


“… in session.”


A member of the Community Relations Committee outlined the drum problem, summarizing the neighbors’ concerns a few words at a time.

The General Assembly had already decided during Thursday’s night’s meeting to limit drum playing, but to no avail.

On Friday, the body failed to reach a consensus. But a smaller group of drummers and mediators later agreed to limit the music to noon to 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., said Andrew Smith, 26, of Portland, Ore., who sat in on the negotiations.

The slow pace of decisions has also led to other problems, like keeping the site clean.

Bobby Cooper, who is on the sanitation working group, said volunteers had been planning a mass cleaning of the park for about a week but no decision had been made on their proposals because of drawn-out discussions.

Finally, on Thursday, with the threat of the park’s owner evicting protesters to do its own cleaning, the sanitation group got some attention — and some plastic bins to distribute to the occupiers.

“I would have wanted these bins a week ago,” said Cooper, 30, of Brooklyn.

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