Poll Dancer by Keith Ng

WTO: We're Thoughtful and Organised

I love military and police equipment. They're just so... thoughtful.

Take this Australian made "water barrier". It's a big plastic water container. Easy to move into place, just add water. Sturdy as a concrete block, slippery as a greasy pole. Can't push it over, can't climb it. I mean, if *I* was looking to purchase a two-metre high redeployable crowd control barrier, *I'd* get one of these.

But it's not just the equipment, but the service that goes with it, too. Those security consultants they've got over for the WTO must be wedding planners, too, considering their attention to detail. Bridges are wrapped in netting to prevent protesters from accidentally dropping their belongings over the sides; drain covers are locked into place with metal ties to prevent protesters from... er... accidentally taking them away and breaking windows with them; they've even filled the edges around paving stones to prevent them from being plied out.

They've made Hong Kong kid-safe.

Meanwhile, businesses near the convention centre (that would be the heart of the busiest part of Hong Kong) are bracing themselves for massive disruptions. A lot of the staff are being asked to go on leave, with the best-case scenario being major traffic rerouting (except that in Hong Kong, there isn't really anywhere to reroute to), and the worst case scenario being the closing of the harbour crossing, which would cut Hong Kong in half and piss, oh, several million people off immensely.

Hotel staff hosting the foreign dignitaries are drilling for Contingency Plans A, B and C - though I'm not sure if the staff themselves actually get away, or whether they're expected to make the noble sacrifice for the good of global commerce. I hear they have been issued with Tasers, though.

They're expecting a large contingent of Korean unionists (now *they* know how to rip some mad shit up), representatives of other not-quite-cheap-enough Asian labour, as well as the usual suspects here for a good time with a pickax, bolt-cutter and crowbar.

They've created a protest zone just 200m from where I live, so it should get interesting. It has line of sight with the convention centre, albeit with a rather large body of water in between. It's also possibly the last remaining piece of undeveloped land in Hong Kong.

Last time I came back to Hong Kong they had a Russian circus in the same spot. Clown-music. All day. Every day.

I'm looking forward to next week.