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March 10 -- February 25, 1917: General Strike

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The strike in Petrograd becomes general. By now, 240,000 workers have joined it. Even small factories, and commerce generally, are affected.

The authorities responded with another of their planned escalations, in which the city's military garrison forms line of battle and opens fire. The result was not at all according to plan. The workers did not confront the soldiers. Rather, one of them, cap in hand, asked the Cossacks to help against the police. Reportedly, some Cossacks attacked the mounted police instead, and one of the police was sabered.

Confrontation was reserved for the police. To the soldiers, the women said, according to Trotsky, "Put down your bayonets -- join us." With the result to be seen in the sequel.

Meanwhile the tsar's Minister of War telegraphs him about the strikes. Naturally the tsar would like the disorders to be put down. The commander of the Petrograd garrison threatened to send all workers who had registered for the draft to the front -- in three days . But the situation would be very different by then.

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Recently retired and no longer obligated to write about what his employers wanted him to write about, he now writes about what he wants to write about. His Ph.D. was granted by Marquette University, and he holds a couple other post-graduate (more...)

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