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Joseph Stalin - Collected Works Volume 3

Joseph Stalin - Collected Works Volume 3

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The day is bright and sunny. The column of demon-
strators is endless. From morn to eve the procession files
towards the Field of Mars. An endless forest of banners.
All factories and establishments are closed. Traffic
is at a standstill. The demonstrators march past the
graves with banners lowered and the Marseillaise
and the Internationale give place to You Have Fallen
Victims
. The air reverberates to the roar of voices.
Every now and again resound the cries: “Down with
the ten capitalist Ministers!” “All power to the
Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies!” And in
response loud and approving cheers ring out from all
sides.

What strikes one most in surveying the demonstra-
tion is the absence of bourgeois and fellow travellers.
Unlike the procession on the day of the funeral, when
the workers were lost in a sea of tradesfolk and petty
bourgeois, the demonstration of June 18 was essentially
a proletarian demonstration, for workers and soldiers
were its principal element. The Cadets had declared a
boycott on the eve of the demonstration and, through
their Central Committee, had urged “abstention” from

J. V. S T A L I N

106

it. And, indeed, the bourgeois not only refrained from
participating in it—they literally hid themselves away.
The Nevsky Prospect, usually so crowded and bustling, was
on that day absolutely denuded of its bourgeois fre-
quenters.

In short, it was really a proletarian demonstration,
a demonstration of the revolutionary workers, leading
the revolutionary soldiers.
An alliance of the workers and soldiers against the
bourgeois, who had deserted the field, with the lower
middle class remaining neutral—such was the outward
picture of the march of June 18.

Not a Procession but a Demonstration

The march of June 18 was not a simple promenade,
a parade, as the procession on the day of the funeral un-
doubtedly was. It was a demonstration of protest, a dem-
onstration of the virile forces of the revolution calculat-
ed to change the balance of forces. It is extremely char-
acteristic that the demonstrators did not confine them-
selves merely to proclaiming their will, but demanded
the immediate release of Comrade Khaustov,* former
member of the staff of Okopnaya Pravda.33

We refer
to the All-Russian Conference of Army Organizations
of our Party, which took part in the demonstration and
demanded of the Executive Committee, in the person
of Chkheidze, the release of Comrade Khaustov; and

* An ensign and a Social-Democratic Bolshevik, a namesake
of the Social-Democratic Menshevik worker, former member
of the Fourth State Duma.

AT THE DEMONSTRATION

107

Chkheidze promised to take all measures to secure his re-
lease “this very day.”
The whole character of the slogans, which expressed
protest against the “orders” of the Provisional Govern-
ment and against its entire policy, showed without a
doubt that the “peaceful procession,” which it was in-
tended to turn into an innocent promenade, grew into
a mighty demonstration of pressure upon the government.

No Confidence
in the Provisional Government

A feature that struck the eye was the fact that not
a single factory and not a single regiment displayed the
slogan: “Confidence in the Provisional Government!”
Even the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries for-
got
(or, rather, did not dare!) to display it. They had
anything you please—“No split!” “For unity!” “Support
the Soviet!” “Universal education!” (believe it or not!)
—but the chief thing was missing: there was no call for
confidence in the Provisional Government, not even
with the sly reservation “to the extent that. . . .” Only
three groups ventured to display the confidence slogan,
but even they were made to repent it. These were a group
of Cossacks, the Bund group and Plekhanov’s Yedinstvo
group. “The Holy Trinity”—the workers on the Field
of Mars ironically called them. Two of them (the Bund
and the Yedinstvo) were compelled by the workers and
soldiers to furl their banners amidst cries of “Down
with them!” The Cossacks, who refused to furl their ban-
ner, had it torn to shreds. And one anonymous “con-
fidence” streamer, stretched “in the air” across the

J. V. S T A L I N

108

entrance to the Field of Mars, was torn down by a group of
soldiers and workers while the approving public cried:
“Confidence in the Provisional Government is hanging
in mid-air.

In short, no confidence in the government on the
part of the overwhelming majority of the demonstrators,
and obvious cowardly hesitation of the Mensheviks and
Socialist-Revolutionaries to go “against the stream”—
such was the general tone of the demonstration.

Bankruptcy of the Compromise Policy

Of all the slogans the most popular were: “All power
to the Soviet!” “Down with the ten capitalist Ministers!”
“Neither a separate peace with Wilhelm nor secret trea-
ties with the British and French capitalists!” “Long live
control and organization of production!” “Down with
the Duma and the Council of State!” “Annul the orders
against the soldiers!” “Announce just terms of peace!”
etc. The overwhelming majority of the demonstrators
revealed their solidarity with our Party. Even such
regiments as the Volhynia and Keksholm marched un-
der the slogan “All power to the Soviet of Workers’
and Soldiers’ Deputies!” The members of the majority of
the Executive Committee, who have dealings not with
the soldier masses, but with the regimental committees,
were sincerely amazed at this “unexpected surprise.”
In short, the overwhelming majority of the demon-
strators (who totalled 400,000 to 500,000) expressed down-
right lack of confidence in the policy of compromise with
the bourgeoisie. The demonstration marched under the
revolutionary slogans of our Party.

AT THE DEMONSTRATION

109

There is no possible room for doubt: the fairy tale
about a Bolshevik “plot” has been utterly exposed.
A party which enjoys the confidence of the overwhelming
majority of the workers and soldiers of the capital has
no need for “plots.” Only an uneasy conscience, or polit-
ical ignorance, could have suggested the “idea” of a Bol-
shevik “plot” to the “high-policy makers.”

Pravda, No. 86,
June 20, 1917
Signed: K. St.

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