Join us for a staged reading of Ten Days that Shook the World to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia that brought the workers to power and inspired millions around the world-then and now. On October 25 there will be a reading in Ottawa, Toronto, & Vancouver. See the events page for all the details.
Climate chaos, poverty, inequality, racism and the rise of the far right are the dominant issues of the day. Our governments have done little or nothing to make the kind of change required to end these crises. At the same time, the campaigns of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US have inspired millions with the idea that a better world is possible.
Unfortunately, at such a time of polarization, the NDP remains in the political centre. The part...y continues to promise timid reform in the hope of being 'electable,' while betraying the climate and Indigenous peoples through supporting pipelines, hydroelectric dams and tar sands in Alberta and B.C. Join us for a public forum to discuss how we can build movements to make the substantial change we need and use the NDP and the Leap manifesto as part of that struggle to build a better world.
In Petrograd between October 16 and October 19, 1917, the Military Revolutionary Committee began to get organized. This was a committee of the Petrograd Soviet (workers’ and soldiers’ council) The committee was made up of members of the Bolsheviks, the Left- Socialist Revolutionaries and anarchists. It was organized to protect the Soviet from the Provisional Government, build support for an insurrection amongst the soldiers and sailors in the capital, and to organize that insurrection. That insurrection would transfer all power to the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies when it met on October 25.
In Russia on October 18, 1917, there was the first meeting of the Petrograd garrison conference. The major garrisons in Petrograd and the surrounding suburbs sent representatives. The discussion was about how far the various military units in and around the capital would go in supporting the Pertrograd Soviet and in opposing the Provisional Government’s orders to remove these radical soldiers and sailors from the capital. The majority of representatives supported transferring all power to the soviets – the councils of democratically elected workers’, soldiers’ and peasants’ delegates. Over the next week, the soldiers and sailors would move from passive support of the slogan “All Power to the Soviets,” to joining an uprising against the Provisional Government and defending the new worker’s democracy.
On October 16, 1917, the Bolshevik Central Committee met again to discuss organizing an insurrection to bring workers' councils (Soviets) to power. Now they had a much better idea of the possibilities for an uprising than at their meeting on October 10. At this meeting they appointed a “Military-Revolutionary Centre” of 5 members to work with the newly formed multi-party Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet. The Military Revolutionary Committee had been formed to defend the workers’ and soldiers’ councils from the provisional government and would go on to organize the revolution on October 25.
some fascinating history of the russian revolution, still an important event to study for socialists today, at its 100th anniversary
In Russia in 1917, October 13 was also a Friday. This Friday the 13th was just one in a series of bad luck days for the Provisional Government. Several socialis...t parties were in the Provisional Government, but their desire to compromise with the capitalists and landlords had lead them to act against the workers and peasants. They continued the war, despite committing to ending it. They refused to end the rule of the landlords and distribute the land to the peasants. They resolutely opposed the demand of “All power to the Soviets,” which meant defending their own unelected power against the democratic rule of workers, soldiers, and peasant councils – the Soviets. For all these reasons the majority were now in favour of a government based on the Soviets, and in less than two weeks the Provisional Government would fall when there was no one left to defend it.
The latest edition of the International Socialism Journal is full of articles about the Russian Revolution. Check it out!
In Russia in 1917, October 13 was also a Friday. This Friday the 13th was just one in a series of bad luck days for the Provisional Government. Several socialist parties were in the Provisional Government, but their desire to compromise with the capitalists and landlords had lead them to act against the workers and peasants. They continued the war, despite committing to ending it. They refused to end the rule of the landlords and distribute the land to the peasants. They reso...lutely opposed the demand of “All power to the Soviets,” which meant defending their own unelected power against the democratic rule of workers, soldiers, and peasant councils – the Soviets. For all these reasons the majority were now in favour of a government based on the Soviets, and in less than two weeks the Provisional Government would fall when there was no one left to defend it.
One hundred years ago, on October 12, 1917, in Petrograd, the Congress of Soviets of the Northern Region was in the middle of its three day meeting. (Soviet means council.) The democratically elected workers’ and soldiers’ councils in Petrograd, Moscow, Finland, Estonia and several northern provinces of the Russian Empire had sent 94 delegates to the congress. Fifty-one of them were Bolsheviks. On October 12 the congress voted in favour of transferring all power to the soviets and the creation of a soviet government.
On this date, October 10, 1917, the central committee of the Bolshevik party met to discuss a motion which read in part, “and the fact that the proletarian party has gained majorities in the soviets, - all this, coupled with the peasant insurrection and the swing of popular confidence to our party, . . . makes armed insurrection the order of the day.” The motion was passed by a vote of 10 to 2, and the Bolshevik party begin to organize to win the popular demand of all power to the soviets!
"The history of a revolution is for us first of all a history of the forcible entrance of the masses into the realm of rulership over their own destiny." Leon Trotsky on the Russian Revolution
Here is another event in Vancouver about the Russian Revolution. Hope to see you there!
Isadora Duncan and the Russian Revolution
Isadora Duncan, the pioneer of Modern Dance, was one of the few artists outside of Russia to participate in the period of the flowering of the revolution. Duncan championed women's rights and called for 'dance for the masses'. In 1921 she was invited to revolutionary Russia to start a school for working class children, part of a plan to make culture available to all. Speaker: Pam Johnson.
Saturday September 30...
Dinner: 6pm, Talk: 7pm
For information: www.socialist.ca
A fundraiser for Socialist Worker / socialist.ca, organized by the Toronto East branch of the International Socialists. $7-15.
Join us for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, an inspiration for millions of workers then and now. Featuring readings from journalist, John Reed's eyewitness account of the events of October 1917 along with other spoken word and live music.
Ayesha Adhami-Magueta, Deadbeat Superheroes singer
Mohammad Ali, Socialist Vocalist (Socialist Hip Hop)
Brian Champ, Mary Code, Nadine MacKinnon, Niaz Salimi, Alex Thomson.
$15 or pwyc. refreshments. proceeds to Socialist Worker newspaper.
From the description of the audio book version of Ten Days that Shook the World:
"Max Eastman recalls a meeting with John Reed in the middle of Sheridan Square during the period of time when Reed isolated himself writing the book:
"...he wrote Ten Days that Shook the World - wrote it in another ten days and ten nights or little more. He was gaunt, unshaven, greasy-skinned, a stark sleepless half-crazy look on his slightly potato-like face - had come down after a night's work ...for a cup of coffee.
'Max, don't tell anybody where I am. I'm writing the Russian revolution in a book. I've got all the placards and papers up there in a little room and a Russian dictionary, and I'm working all day and all night. I haven't shut my eyes for thirty-six hours. I'll finish the whole thing in two weeks. And I've got a name for it too - Ten Days that Shook the World. Good-by, I've got to go get some coffee. Don't for God's sake tell anybody where I am!' "
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, join us for a dramatic reading of John Reed's eyewitness account of the events of October 1917. This staged reading will include excerpts from contemporary Canadian sources as well as from the novel. On the same evening, Ten Days will also be presented in Vancouver and Ottawa.