Kronstadt diary – Mar 4th Late At Night

Historical

5th March 2021
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PETROGRAD, 1921
March 4 -- Late at night. The extraordinary session of the Petro-Soviet in the Tauride Palace was packed with Communists, mostly youngsters, fanatical and intolerant. Admission by special ticket; a propusk (permit) also had to be secured to return home after interdicted hours. Representatives of shops and labour committees were in the galleries, the seats in the main body having been occupied by Communists. Some factory delegates were given the floor. but the moment they attempted to state their case, they were shouted down. Zinoviev repeatedly urged the meeting to give the opposition an opportunity to be heard, but his appeal lacked energy and conviction.

Not a voice was raised in favour of the Constituent Assembly. A millworker pleaded with the Government to consider the complaints of the workers who are cold and hungry. Zinoviev replied that the strikers are enemies of the Soviet regime. Kalinin declared Kronstadt the headquarters of General Kozlovsky’s plot. A sailor reminded Zinoviev of the time when he and Lenin were hunted as counter-revolutionists by Kerensky and were saved by the very sailors whom they now denounce as traitors. Kronstadt demands only honest elections, he declared. He was not allowed to proceed. The stentorian voice and impassioned appeal of Yevdakimov, Zinoviev’s lieutenant, wrought the Communists up to a high pitch of excitement. His resolution was passed amid a tumult of protest from the non-partisan delegates and labour men. The resolution declared Kronstadt guilty of a counterrevolutionary attempt against the Soviet regime and demands its immediate surrender. It is a declaration of war.■

Alexander Berkman

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