I don’t watch the news that much, or pay too much attention to current events. So, I often find out there’s something big ™ happening in Beijing when these kind folks start showing-up:
From what I’ve seen, these volunteer guards are usually bus drivers and conductors, security guards, traffic guards, and retirees. Or, basically the same people who would be watching and guarding regardless of whether they had on a bright-red armband or not.
I guess one thing that’s different is that some seem to have assigned stations.
Oh, the event which is now occurring is the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress.