1917 Revolution

July 1917: The Bolsheviks “become a power”

July 1917: The Bolsheviks “become a power”

A century ago this week, 500,000 workers and soldiers marched through the Russian capital Petrograd, with tens of thousands joining marches in Moscow, Kiev and other cities. The demonstrations on 1 July (18 June according to Russia’s old calendar), called by the pro-government socialist parties who at that time held a majority in the soviets […]

Russian Revolution: May and June 1917

Russian Revolution: May and June 1917

May and June: Provisional Government weak but revolutionary movement not yet able to take power The situation is one of dual power: the weakness of the Provisional Government is becoming increasingly clear; the revolutionary movement not yet able to take control. Right-wing social democrats are poised to join a coalition with the capitalist and pro-tsarist […]

100 Years Ago, A Forgotten Soviet Revolution in LGBTQ Rights

100 Years Ago, A Forgotten Soviet Revolution in LGBTQ Rights

Review of Dan Healey’s book: Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia The socialist October Revolution in 1917 brought about fundamental, thoroughgoing changes in Russian society. Millions of people in the largest country on Earth quickly found themselves far freer than they had ever been under the despotic, anti-Semitic Tsar, the strictures of the church, and the brutality […]

Russian Revolution: April 1917: How the Bolsheviks re-orientated

Russian Revolution: April 1917: How the Bolsheviks re-orientated

On 3 April 1917, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia from exile. Lenin’s arrival turned the Bolshevik party upside down and changed the course of history. Just weeks earlier, demanding an end to the bloody slaughter of World War One, the masses of working class and poor in Russia had risen up in a revolution and driven […]

Alexandra Kollontai: Pioneer of the Struggle for Socialism and Women’s Liberation

Alexandra Kollontai: Pioneer of the Struggle for Socialism and Women’s Liberation

As a new generation of women move into struggle, Christine Thomas looks back at the life and ideas of the Russian revolutionary, Alexandra Kollontai, a pioneer of the struggle for socialism and women’s liberation. Alexandra Kollontai is probably the best-known woman among Russian revolutionaries, the first woman elected as a full member of the Bolshevik […]

Russian Revolution: Overthrow of the Tsar to Edge of Power: February to October

Russian Revolution: Overthrow of the Tsar to Edge of Power: February to October

The February revolution in Russia, started by women striking on International Working Women’s Day, quickly pushed aside the Tsar. The main demands were Bread, Peace and Down with the Autocracy (feudal dictatorship). The next nine months were a living struggle around these slogans. A revolution is not an event; it is a process. Two Opposing […]

Russian Revolution: March 1917 – After the fall of Czarism, what next for the revolution?

Russian Revolution: March 1917 – After the fall of Czarism, what next for the revolution?

The overthrow of Tsarist rule in February and the winning of some important democratic rights did not mean the end of the revolution. Rather it was the beginning of the struggle to determine what would be the shape of the new Russia that the vast majority of the population wished for. Immediate issues were posed […]

Women and the Russian Revolution

Women and the Russian Revolution

Striking women workers kick-started the February 1917 revolution then, following the Bolshevik-led October revolution, women gained full legal equality with men. The preceding period had seen an intense battle of ideas between various strands of feminism – debates which are just as relevant to the struggles of today. Many politicians and philosophers have said that […]

Russian Revolution: February 1917 – Lessons for today’s struggles against dictatorship

Russian Revolution: February 1917 – Lessons for today’s struggles against dictatorship

In the February Revolution of 1917, (March in today’s calendar) the centuries-old system of Russian tsarism came crashing down. It was the working class especially of the capital Petrograd that made this revolution, spurred into action by the heroic women workers. The emblem of the February Revolution was the red flag of the international working […]

Russian Revolution: February 1917

Russian Revolution: February 1917

Russia in February 1917 was a mass of tensions and contradictions. The slaughter of war seemed endless, the countryside remained gripped by feudal backwardness, the workers in the cities were hungry and angry and millions of national minorities were locked in the oppression of the empire. The soldiers were often sent to the front without […]