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Bricks in Hong Kong glued down to avoid protests

In a time-consuming example of policing, Hong Kong officials, in preparation for the arrival of a top Beijing official, have using adhesives to fix hundreds of bricks to the pavements. The reason is to avoid a repeat of the so-called “fishball revolution” in January when protesters hurled hundreds of bricks at police officers.

For the visit of Zhang Dejiang (chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress) this week, any type of protest, including waving a banner, was prohibited. Hong Kong was, in effect, placed in virtual lockdown and 6,000 police were on patrol at any one time. This comes at a time when tensions between pro-democracy groups and supporters of the Chinese dictatorship are at an all time high.

Much of this is part and parcel of the actions taken by authorities in mainland China and in Hong Kong to tackle dissent. What is more extraordinary is the gluing down of bricks. This came about after the city administration ordered a layer of glue to be applied to each sidewalk brick in the areas close to the legislative council building.

The irony with the exercise was that after thousands of bricks had been glued, Hong Kong was subjected to torrential rain and the glue, for a large number of bricks, was washed away. In the event no brick throwing took place, perhaps due to the very high police presence on the streets.

Pro-democracy campaigner Dennis Kwok, who represents the Civic Party, told The Guardian: “The glueing of the bricks is obviously done in preparation for Zhang’s visit. They are obviously afraid that there can be a riot, and that the bricks are thrown as it happened in Mongkok.”

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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