7. The ‘Mic Check’ Was Invented in Zuccotti Park

The term “mic check” is said to have invented during the Occupy Wall Street protests, when megaphones were banned at Zuccotti Park. The phrase eventually became “a device of the protest itself.” In describing its significance, Occupy activist Jay Gausson noted the following: “We’re so distracted these days, people have forgotten how to focus. But ‘mic check’ demands not just that we listen to other people’s opinions but that we really hear what they’re saying because we have to repeat their words exactly.”

In the book Occupy: Three Inquiries in Disobedience,authors Willian John Thomas Michell and Bernard E., state that the ban triggered the “most powerful invention of the Occupy movement.” In much of the same way “mic check” commanded attention and facilitated communication, the “human microphone” — or those within earshot of the speaker — relayed words to the people towards the back of the crowds, thus amplifying the voice of the speaker without equipment.