When participating in a group, often agendas need to be discussed and opinions tallied. Occupy uses a hand signal system to quickly tabulate votes and bring dissenting issues to the table. Though consensus has been discriminated against for bing “slow”, Occupy has shown that, if implemented correctly, can be a satisfying experience for more members while still remaining timely.
It is important to note that just as the people who participate in general assemblies differ, so do the hand signals. I have listed the 8 main ones alongside a few others and varying names. If they are not part of the main 8, they will be listed between parenthesis.
- Agree- Also known as “up twinkles”, this signal indicates approval of what is being said or voted upon.
- Don’t Agree- Also know as “squid fingers”, this signal indicates disagreement of what is being said or voted upon. It is important to note that, when this motion is used, the gesturer may disagree, but will remain active if the subject is promoted by the group.
- (Meh)- Also known as “mid twinkles”, this signal indicates disinterest (not for or against) a topic or vote.
- Oppose- This signal indicates a strong disagreement with the subject or vote. Often, further discussion of the subject ensues with the topic of compromise.
- Block- This signal indicates firm opposition to a vote. If used, the person may intend to leave the group if the vote passes. This is the strongest symbol that can be used at an assembly and, usually, great effort is taken to further discuss the subject until an agreement can be reached (within reason).
- (Stand Aside)- With a thumb out to the side (much like hitchhiking), this signal indicates not having a significant opinion on a topic or vote.
*A “temperature check” using the above signals can be taken on a subject to get a group consensus before the formal vote takes place.
To see these terms explained with live action motions, please check out this awesome video! (They will even show you a few more, just for fun!)