J. V. Stalin
Source : Works, Vol.
2, 1907 - 1913
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.
After the Lena shooting—strikes and protests all over Russia.
After Minister Makarov's "explanations" in the Duma—a demonstration in the capital of Russia.
The government wanted to drive Russia into the clutches of sanguinary "orders."
But Russia proved to be stronger than the government and decided to go its own way. . . .
Let us cast another glance at the history of the Lena events.
A strike of 6,000 workers was proceeding at the Lena goldfields. The strike was peaceful and organised. The mendacious Rech can, of course, speak of a "spontaneous riot" on the Lena (see No. 103). But we judge, not by what the mendacious Rech says, but by the "report" of the eyewitness Tulchinsky. And Mr. Tulchinsky asserts that on that day the workers behaved in an exemplary manner, that the workers had "no sticks or stones." And then the hellish conditions of labour in the goldfields, the very modest demands of the workers, their voluntary abandonment of the demand for an eight-hour day, the workers' readiness to make further concessions—all this is the familiar picture of the peaceful Lena strike.
Nevertheless, the government found it necessary to shoot down the workers, peaceful unarmed workers with their tobacco pouches in their hands and with petitions in their pockets for the release of their arrested comrades. . . .
Proceedings have not been taken against Treshchenko —is it not clear that he was acting on orders from above?
It has been decided to take proceedings against the workers and not against Treshchenko—is it not clear that somebody was thirsting for the proletariat's blood?
They wanted to kill two birds with one stone on the day of the shooting. First, to satisfy the voracious appetites of the Lena cannibals. Second, to intimidate the workers of other towns and localities, as much as to say— bear the yoke of capital uncomplainingly, otherwise we shall do to you what we did to the Lena workers.
The result was that neither of these objects was achieved.
The Lena cannibals have not been satisfied, for the strike in the goldfields is continuing.
As for the workers of other towns, far from being intimidated, they have risen in strike after strike in protest against the shooting.
More than that. St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia, responded to Makarov's "explanations" by a demonstration of thousands of students and workers.
The most sensitive section of Russian society, the students, extended a hand to the most revolutionary section of the Russian people, the proletariat, and hoisting the red flag they proclaimed: Yes, "so it was," but it must never be so again!
From a peaceful economic strike on the Lena to political strikes all over Russia, and from political strikes all over Russia to a demonstration of many thousands of students and workers in the very heart of Russia— that is what the representatives of the government have achieved in their struggle against the workers.
Yes, the "old mole" of the movement for emancipation, the far-sighted Russian government, is grubbing well"!
Two or three more "feats" like this and it will be possible to say with certainty that nothing will remain of Minister Makarov's bluster except a miserable recollection.
Go on working, gentlemen, go on working!
The St. Petersburg Zvezda, No. 31, April 17, 1912