[...] There are always plenty of security forces around -- soldiers in green uniforms, various kinds of police in blue uniforms, and "plainclothes" forces who are pretty easy to pick out, like strapping young men in buzz cuts all wearing similar-looking "leisure" clothes. But I have not seen before anything like the situation at the moment.
There are more representatives in all categories -- soldiers, police, obvious plainclothesmen -- than I recall seeing even during the Tibet violence in early 2008 or through the Olympic games. Also many people whom you would normally classify as fruit vendors, tourists from the Chinese provinces, youngish white collar workers male and female, and skateboarder-looking characters wearing cargo shorts and with fauxhawk haircuts, were last night walking up and down the sidewalks with their eyes constantly on visitors and drifting up next to people who were holding conversations.
The way to avoid their attention is keep moving briskly along the sidewalk rather than stopping as if you think there is something particular to look at in the square today. The way to draw it is to stop and look around, to pay attention to the security forces themselves, or to have a camera in your hand.
Most local residents seemed not to know what the commotion was about. One man asked if there was something going on because Malaysia’s Prime Minister arrived in the capital yesterday. Before he could continue talking, several officers swooped in and told him to leave the area.
The man offered minor resistance, then left. But as he walked away, a camera-toting cop followed him, recording the man’s departure. Not realizing that the camera cop, who was wearing a white T-shirt and no badge, was with the authorities, the man demanded to be left alone, splashed his bottled drink on the camera cop’s face, then threw the empty bottle at his head before walking off. “Why are you following me?” he yelled. “What’s wrong with you?”