Two hundred thousand workers, about half the industrial labor force, are on strike in Petrograd. Among others, students joined them. The slogans cried for bread, but also against tsarist autocracy and the war.
On the first day of strikes, only police were sent to control the crowds. But on the second day, the authorities took the second step in a long-planned escalation: they sent Cossacks to drive the workers back with horses and whips. But the plan of the tsar's Council of Ministers failed. The Cossacks, instead of driving away the workers, in some cases simply filed through them, or let them pass under their horses. Nor did they fire on the workers, but some of them broke up police formations that were. Trotsky says, ""one of them gave the workers a good wink."