Chinese authorities are blocking access to schools destroyed by last month's deadly earthquake in an apparent effort to quell demonstrations by angry, grieving parents.
Police and soldiers have been deployed outside several schools in quake-struck Sichuan province where parents are demanding official accountability for what they say is the shoddy construction of the facilities. Notices have also been posted to remind the public to maintain social order.
Thousands of schools collapsed during the earthquake and officials are growing increasingly anxious over public displays of anger and media coverage.
On Tuesday, more than 100 parents of children killed in the May 12th quake were forcibly dispersed, some dragged away, as they tried to stage a rally outside a courthouse in (the resort city of) Dujiangyan, in Sichuan province.
The parents were attempting to file a lawsuit against the local government for shoddy construction of a middle building in nearby Juyuan, which collapsed in the quake, killing at least 270 students.
Officials have not said how many children have died in the earthquake, but the death toll was raised again today to more than 69-thousand-100. Some 20-thousand are still missing.
Many Chinese suspect that corrupt officials ignored construction standards for the schools that collapsed during the seven-point-nine magnitude quake.