I agree. Still, if the protesters do turn violent, the government could point to it to justify even worse actions. It’s a sticky situation.
Methinks the six hanged might not view the situation as “sticky”. Statistics mean nothing when they happen to you.
Governments in general exist because the people decide the price of submission is better than the price of opposition. So long as the protesters believe this, they’ll lose.
Those who decide “to this we devote our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” win. Those who don’t, lose.