Bahrain's government is destroying the Pearl roundabout, a major plaza in the capital Manama that had become the central gathering place for protesters in recent weeks. That means that the elegant structure at its center, the Pearl Monument, has already been razed.

Bahrain security forces and police, with the help of a Saudi-led coalition of troops, cleared the roundabout of protesters earlier in the week. Violently. And now government authorities are destroying the whole area merely to "optimize services and improve the infrastructure," as the bullshit excuse goes.

NBC News offers a little more background about the now-former monument: "Prior to the discovery of oil in the 1930s, Bahrain's main source of income came from pearl diving and the country's Pearl Roundabout structure, a giant white 'pearl' balanced atop 6 sloping pillars, or 'sails,' symbolized for many Bahrainis a link with their pre-colonial past." Sad!

The news report in the clip up top shows the start of the collapse — the "sails" begin to twist and lose control of the "pearl" — and then the whole mess after the crash. More photos are here.