China Clampdown Ahead Of Democracy Demo 46 mins ago (c) Sky News 2011 Chinese authorities are cracking down on democracy activists ahead of planned protests that draw inspiration from popular movements in the Middle East. Skip related content Related photos / videos China Clampdown Ahead Of Democracy Demo Enlarge photo Related content LinkedIn site disrupted in protest-wary China Taiwan OKs Chinese investment in chips, LCDs China's drought area to see rain or snow Related Hot Topic: China Have your say: China Several prominent activists have been taken into custody or placed under police watch after a call went out on the internet for protests this weekend. People have been encouraged to gather at 2pm on Sunday at locations in cities across the country. Liu Fenggang, a longtime pro-democracy organiser who has served multiple prison terms, told Sky News that several plain-clothes police officers had been posted outside his home since late January when protests began in Egypt. "They look at these events overseas, and they think it could happen here," he said. Fellow dissident Xu Yongghai said two men had been sitting outside his door last Sunday. "Wherever I go, they follow me, even to buy vegetables," he said. "I asked them why, and they said they didn't know and were just following orders." The protests that have swept across the Arab world have been reported by China's state-controlled media. But the country's internet censors have been quick to delete online comment in support of the demonstrators. Three people have been detained on charges of "inciting subversion of state power" after posting information about the planned protests online, according to one Hong Kong-based human rights group. Publicly, however, the authorities have played down the possibility that Chinese people may be inspired by movements in Tunisia and Egypt that have successfully brought down dictatorships. The possibility of a similar turn of events in China is "ridiculous and unrealistic" according to one senior official quoted by Xinhua, the state-run news wire.