According to the Associate Press, security agents tried to take away Liu, but he was swarmed by journalists and eventually was seen walking away with a friend.
While the call to protest may not be gaining much traction in China right now, the government's disproportionate show of force reveals how nervous the leadership has become in the wake of spreading unrest in the Middle East. In addition to the heavy police presence, cellphone users were blocked from sending text messages to multiple recipients, the words "jasmine revolution" have been blocked from search engines and social media sites, and human rights advocates are reporting that dozens of lawyers and activists have been rounded up, detained, are under house arrest or missing.
On Saturday, President Hu held a special "study session" with top leaders in which he called for stricter controls on the internet "to guide public opinion" and "solve prominent problems which might harm the harmony and stability of the society".
Zhou Yongkang, a member of the standing committee of the Politburo in charge of security, echoed the President's call to find new ways to defuse unrest, urging senior officials to improve "social management and detect conflicts and problems early on."