This article in the NY Times on the Ukrainian revote highlights one of the ugly truths about politics and political change. As Mao said, all political power flows from the barrel of a gun. When political power shifts, it does so because the power to kill shifts before hand.
Peaceful protest are not the true revolutions. The true revolution occurs when the people with guns decide whether to back or to oppose the revolution. The peaceful protest can only occur in a security bubble created by Orwell’s “rough men” who stand quietly off camera threatening to due violence to those who attack the protesters. Without that protection, the Kiev protesters would have faced the same fate as those of Tiananmen Square.
In the Ukrainian revolution, the protest and legal maneuverings were in the end just the capstone of the true revolution that occurred when the military and intelligence services chose the rule of law and the consent of the people.
Too many people believe that revolutions can and do occur without somebody making a decision to use force if necessary. It is a dangerous delusion.