"The man who prefers his country before any other duty shows the same spirit as the man who surrenders every right to the state. They both deny that right is superior to authority."
Lord Acton

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bloody Sunday January 22, 1905

300,000 people, workers and they're families, walked towards the Winter Palace, the
tsar's official residence.  They were singing hymns and patriotic songs including "God Save the Tsar!". The police did not interfere.  However, the army line guarding the palace began by firing warning shots, unfazed, they began firing multiple volleys directly into the crowd. 

Yesterday and Today in Bahrain, a similar scene played out:  From the Wall St. Journal: 
In the early evening Friday, sporadic gun fire rang out in the vicinity of the capital's Pearl roundabout, as Bahraini security forces fired tear gas near the square, the site where police the previous day violently cleared protesters...
"We were walking holding a Bahraini flag, more than 2,000 people... Suddenly they shot at us,"  Except this time it's on Youtube:

Those snapping sounds are the sounds of bullets breaking the sound barrier as they pass by the camera/microphone hitting the protesters in the street.  That's what it sounds like to be shot at by supersonic rifle fire.  Rubber bullets aren't supersonic... 

Feras Hashim, an orthopedic surgeon at the hospital which wounded were arriving late Friday, said eight were in the facility's trauma unit, and "still (wounded) are coming," he said.
He held up an x-ray of a wounded man's leg to show what he said was proof that security forces were using live ammunition.
Other men, fresh from the scene of the shooting, walked through the emergency room ward, covered in blood...
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 2nd Movement, Allegro 

The second movement, referring to the events of the Bloody Sunday, consists of two major sections. The first section likely depicts the petitioners of 22 January 1905 [O.S. 9 January], in the city of Saint Petersburg, in which crowds descended on the Winter Palace to complain about the government's increased inefficiency, corruption, and harsh ways. This first section is busy and constantly moves forward. It builds to two steep climaxes, then recedes into a steep, frozen calm in the prolonged piccolo and flute melodies, underscored again with distant brass.
Another full orchestra buildup launches into a pounding march, in a burst from the snare drum like gunfire and fugal strings, as the troops descend on the crowd. This breaks out into an intense section of relentless strings, and trombone and tuba glissandos procure a nauseating sound underneath the panic and the troops' advance on the crowd. Then comes a section of mechanical, heavily repetitive snare drum, bass drum, timpani, and tam-tam solo before the entire percussion sections breaks off at once. Numbness sets in with a section reminiscent of the first movement.
 Tsar Nicholas was not present at the palace, as he had left several days earlier.  However he was still blamed for the deaths which resulted in a wave of bitterness towards him and his dictatorial rule.  Nicholas II described the day as "painful and sad".  But it was too late.  The events set in motion a revolution which claimed the lives of millions. It then forged a new government that murdered and imprisoned further millions of Russians.

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