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(en) Timebomb -Hungary 1918/19 -Resistance (AF Ireland)

From Al'S <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Wed, 18 Dec 2002 15:55:29 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Continuing our series on the history of workers?
councils. A full version of this article appears at
our website.

The Hungarian Councils 1918-19

Throughout 1915 and 1916 there was a steady increase
in the number of strikes. The increasing ferment in
the factories, barracks and workers districts provoked
internal dissensions within the ranks of the ruling

On the May 1st 1917 a massive strike wave and
demonstration led to the fall of the reactionary
government of Count Tisza, on the 23rd of May. 
The workers rightly interpreted this move as a sign of
weakness and pressed home their advantage. The new
government was met by a wave of strikes, which broke
out spontaneously, in the teeth of the opposition of
the ?moderate? trade union leaders. One of these Samu
Jasza later admitted that: 

?Already in 1917 there were many strikes although the
trade unions insisted that there should be no
interruptions of work.?

The ferment in the factories led to a general strike
against the war in Budapest on January 18th 1918,
which quickly sparked off mass meetings in which many
soldiers participated.
0n the 20th June 1918, a new strike broke out as a
result of the shooting of workers. Soviets, or
workers? councils, were set up to fight for the
workers? demands: peace, universal suffrage, all power
to the soviets. The strike spread from Budapest to
other industrial centres. Yet once again it was called
off after ten days by the leadership.

And on the 30th of October there was an uprising in
Budapest of workers, soldiers, sailors and students.
The government fell like a house of cards without
firing a shot in its own defence. The formation of the
councils were the catalyst to revolution, a revolution
that was soon betrayed as worker?s spontaneity and
self-organisation was sacrificed on the altar of
partyist and nationalist rhetoric. In 1956, though,
the councils would resurface.


>From the pages of Resistance#18, regular monthly
bulletin of the Anarchist Federation (Ireland).

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