Gestures are used in order to effectively and efficiently communicate within a people’s assembly, to allow the assembly to give feedback to a speaker without interruption. This post contains an excerpt of a how-to guide to people’s assemblies prepared by individuals involved in the resistance movement in Madrid. The original is published here at takethesquare.net.  

GESTURES USED TO EXPRESS COMMON OPINION OF THE ASSEMBLY

The following gestures have been agreed on in order to permit the expression of common opinion during assemblies:
1) APPLAUSE/AGREEMENT: Upraised, open hands moving from side to side.
2) DISAGREEMENT: Arms folded in cross above the head.
3) “THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN SAID”/”GET TO THE POINT”: As if requesting a substitution in sport, revolving upraised hands.
4) “YOUR INTERVENTION IS TAKING UP TOO MUCH TIME”: Crossed arms. Forearms come together and move apart as if they were the hands of a clock so that palms touch above head.
5) “DIFFICULTY HEARING INTERVENTION”: Cupped hands to ears or hand moving up and down as if to indicate, “turn the volume up”.
It is advisable to remind participants of these signs at the beginning of each Assembly. It is also advisable to inform participants that is more useful to display disagreement once the person speaking has finished in order not to condition their intervention, whenever possible.

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