To the Finlyandskiy Station…
I’ll be coming from Helsinki Finland, via train, to the Finland rail station in St. Petersburg, Vyborg district, on Sunday, November 5. A rainy cool November forecast has just changed to mostly cool in St. Petersburg, Russia, with one day of rain, after rain was predicted for 5 straight days. But that could change again…
This is the centenary of the Russian revolution in St. Petersburg/Leningrad/Petrograd, when the Tsar and the bourgeois Provisional governments were deposed one by one. Stepping out of the Finland Station there is still a statue of Lenin. Upon arriving in April 1917 he spoke atop an armoured car to the tune of the Marseillaise for a huge crowd of soldiers and workers and announced the beginning of the world socialist revolution.
This uprising from February to November was the most significant event of the 20th Century, setting the course for the rest of the decade. The global class war between capital and the working class - which continues to this day - found its expression through this revolution.
Events in St. Petersburg for the commemoration include a mass re-enactment of the storming of the Winter Palace (which is now the Hermitage art museum) and Lenin’s speech. At the Russian History Museum there is a show of vintage revolutionary posters. At the Ross Photo gallery, a display of historic revolutionary photos. There are ‘Communist” walking tours, though not so sure how ‘Communist’ they really are.
The sites of the revolution still exist – The Tauride Palace and the Smolny, where the Petrograd Soviet convened; the Suhhanov apartment where the Bolshevik Party decided on an uprising; the Aurora battleship and Peter and Paul fortress in the Vyborg district, which shelled the Winter Palace where the bourgeois government huddled in desperation; the Field of Mars and the Tikhvin Cemetery, where the revolutionary dead of the February uprising and some from the Civil war are buried; the Kschessinksa Mansion, headquarters of the Bolshevik Party during the uprising; the Kresty Prison, where Trotsky and many others were jailed. It is still in use.
I have contacted the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), which is hosting events around Russia and delegates from many Communist Parties around the world. The Russian CP has asked ‘other left tendencies’ to contact them as well. I would assume representatives from the Chinese, Cuban and Vietnamese Communist Partys will attend their events. Of most importance, of course, is a large public gathering of ALL supporters of the November Revolution (Gregorian Style). The CPRF has a planned public 'manifestation' on November 7th in St. Petersburg and I will attend. There are various Marxist political groups in Russia besides the CPRF, like the Trotskyist Revolutionary Workers Party, which has a branch in St. Petersburg. It is hoped that other organizations will come out in public, given strict demonstration permits in the Russian Federation.
But as is said so many times, “We shall see.”
November 1, 2017