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(en) UK, AFED, organise magazine: Kronstadt diary - Feb 28th | Historical

Date Fri, 5 Mar 2021 08:07:18 +0200


PETROGRAD, 1921 ---- February 28-Strikers' proclamations have appeared on the streets today. They cite cases of workers found frozen to death in their homes. The main demand is for winter clothing and more regular issue of rations. Some of the circulars protest against the suppression of factory meetings. "The people want to take counsel together and find means of relief," they state. Zinoviev asserts the whole trouble is due to Menshevik and Social Revolutionist plotting. ---- For the first time a political turn is being given to the strikes. Late in the afternoon a proclamation was posted containing larger demands. "A complete change is necessary in the policies of the Government," it reads. "First of all, the workers and peasants need freedom. They don't want to live by the decrees of the Bolsheviki; they want to control their own destinies. We demand the liberation of all arrested socialists and non-partisan workingmen; abolition of martial law; freedom of speech, press, and assembly for all who labour; free election of shop and factory committees, of labour union and Soviet representatives.".

Kronstadt diary - Mar 1st | Historical

PETROGRAD, 1921

March l--Many arrests are taking place. Groups of strikers surrounded by Chekists, on their way to prison, are a common sight. Much indignation in the city. I hear that several unions have been liquidated and their active members turned over to the Cheka. But proclamations continue to appear. The arbitrary stand of the authorities is having the effect of rousing reactionary tendencies. The situation is growing tense. Calls for the Uichredilka (Constituent Assembly) are being heard. A manifesto is circulating, signed by the "Socialist Workers of the Nevsky District", openly attacking the Communist regime. "We know who is afraid of the Constituent Assembly," it declares. "It is they who will no longer be able to rob us. Instead they will have to answer before the representatives of the people for their deceit, their thefts, and all their crimes."

Zinoviev is alarmed; he has wired Moscow for troops. The local garrison is said to be in sympathy with the strikers. Military from the provinces has been ordered to the city: special Communist regiments have already arrived. Extraordinary martial law has been declared today.

Kronstadt diary - Mar 2nd | Historical

PETROGRAD, 1921

March 2-Most disquieting reports. Large strikes have broken out in Moscow. In the Astoria I heard today that armed conflicts have taken place near the Kremlin and blood has been shed. The Bolsheviki claim the coincidence of events in the two capitals as proof of a counterrevolutionary conspiracy.

It is said that Kronstadt sailors have come to the city to look into the cause of trouble. Impossible to tell fact from fiction. The absence of a public press encourages the wildest rumours. The official papers are discredited.

Kronstadt diary - Mar 3rd | Historical

PETROGRAD, 1921

March 3-Kronstadt is disturbed. It disapproves of the Govemment's drastic methods against the dissatisfied workers. The men of the warship Petropavlovsk have passed a resolution of sympathy with the strikers.

It has become known today that on February 28 a committee of sailors was sent to this city to investigate the strike situation. Its report was unfavourable to the authorities. On March l the crews of the First and Second Squadrons of the Baltic Fleet called a public meeting at Yakorny Square. The gathering was attended by 16,000 sailors, Red Army men, and workers. The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Kronstadt Soviet, the communist Vassiliev, presided. The audience was addressed by Kalinin. President of the Republic, and by Kuzmin, Commissar of the Baltic Fleet. The attitude of the sailors was entirely friendly to the Soviet Government, and Kalinin was met on his arrival in Kronstadt with military honours, music, and banners.

At the meeting the Petrograd situation and the report of the sailors' investigating committee were discussed. The audience was outspoken in its indignation at the means employed by Zinoviev against the workers. President Kalinin and Commissar Kuzmin berated the strikers and denounced the Petropavlovsk Resolution as counter-revolutionary. The sailors emphasized their loyalty to the Soviet system, but condemned the Bolshevik bureaucracy. The resolution was passed.

Alexander Berkman

https://organisemagazine.org.uk/2021/02/28/kronstadt-diary-historical/
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