Despite the police reinforcements in the centre of the capital, on a cold November evening (06.11.17), several dozen anarchists marched on the centenary of the revolution. Near Chistye Prudy metro station, the anarchists unfurled a banner that read: ‘Dictatorship, Poverty and Corruption, Only One Way Out – Revolution!’, and briskly marched through the dark streets yelling out slogans calling for class struggle, solidarity, social revolution and the construction of a new, just world.
A hundred years to the day that the Winter Palace fell in Petrograd—October 25 in the Julian calendar, November 7 in the Gregorian—we present an anarchist perspective on the Russian Revolution, which began in February 1917 with a mass-mobilization and mutiny that deposed Tsar Nicholas II. Though the Revolution contained an awesome amount of liberatory potential, as reflected in workers’ self-management and peasant land-seizures, it was fatally deviated by the authoritarian Bolshevik Party, which took power a hundred years ago today. Now, Russia has gone a century without a revolution. The world awaits a new one!
A Few Words from the Undead of 1917
This year is the centennial of two revolutions in Russia: one in which the people toppled the Tsar and another in which the Bolsheviks seized state power. Within twenty years, the Bolsheviks had executed or imprisoned most of those who carried out the revolution. Today, as the hashtag #1917live trends on twitter, we should remember the #1917undead, the anarchists who strove to warn humanity that statist paths towards social change will never bring us to freedom. Some of them, like Fanya and Aron Baron, were murdered in cold blood by authoritarian communists in the Soviet Union. Others managed to survive, betrayed by their supposed comrades, to witness the totalitarian results of the Bolshevik coup. Their voices cry out to us today from the grave. Let’s listen.
Translator: Text from the April 2017 issue of Canons Rompus, a revolutionary anti-war journal published in France. Not tied to a specific ideology, this journal engages a critique of the state by analyzing the role of the military in politics, society, and the economy. This text is interesting in that, departing somewhat from their usual anti-war stance, it appears to say that the Russian withdrawal from World War 1 represented an abandonment of internationalist principles and led to the consolidation of the Leninist “revolutions are the internal business of states” ideology that continues to operate today (in the pro-Assad opposition to the Syrian revolution, for instance).
Exactly one hundred years ago, in March 1917, the Russian revolution began.
This revolution, lead primarily by farmers, workers, and soldiers, set off a world-wide revolutionary wave and kept the working class' hopes alive for decades...
We want to draw attention to the role played by war in sparking the revolution and in its continuation, as well as on the importance of the question of peace, starting in the very first street demonstrations.