I agree with the others above. But in all fairness, illegally protesting in the US would also result in force being used, even if you are unarmed. Seems like the authorities there really overdid it though.
Agree, and the cossacks did overplay their hand a bit. Plus, it takes really strong courage and resolve to put yourself in a situation where you know you might have that kind of force used against you - even if you know you want it on camera for the world to see.
Lenin, no less, once said - this was in 1905, many years before be took over power: "Get them /the people, the opposition/ onto the street. Who has been whipped is worth twice as much as those who haven't yet been whipped", and he was thinking of military guards (or cossacks) who would actually whip crowds of unarmed demonstrators from the height of their horses, or even shoot at them, shoot to kill.
I like that quote, it has a kind of hardnosed understanding of the cost of rousing people to change about it. (Lenin was no democrat, but then there were many people in Russia back then who didn't have to be communists to feel the weight of oppression from the Tsar and *his* henchmen)