This is the sound of … the Olympics


The papers have been full of Seb Coe’s latest toy, a Long-Range Acoustic Device which is equipped to bombard protesters with high-pitch noises and loud projected voices urging them to disperse, and which will be mounted on HMS Ocean, the designated “Olympic warship”, which is to be stationed in the Thames for the duration of the Games

You will be reassured to discover that although the LRAD emits noises above frequencies that cause pain to humans, and is capable of causing long-term hearing loss to those caught in its path (including bystanders), its manufacturer denies that the LRAD is “a weapon”. What doesn’t seem in dispute is that it is used by some authoritarian people:

by the Israelis against Palestinians in Hebron (top),
by the US army occupying Iraq,
against trade unionists demonstrating in Thailand
against democracy protesters in Georgia

I doubt it troubled the London Organisers for a second that they find themselves in this company.

Finally, for those untroubled by high-pitched discontinuous noise, here’s the sonic cannon being used against G20 protesters last year:


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