The Russian Revolution

Z is for Zhenotdel

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When thousands of women workers went on strike on International Women's Day in Petrograd, Russia, in 1917 they had ignored advice from Bolshevik party leaders to "keep cool".

Once they were on the streets the Bolsheviks went all out to build their struggle. Leon Trotsky would later write, "Women's Day passed successfully, with enthusiasm and without victims. But what it concealed in itself no one had guessed even by nightfall." For that day's action was the trigger for the Russian revolution that was to transform the lives of millions.

K is for Kollontai

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The success of the Russian Revolution of 1917 enabled the radical ideas on women's liberation that had been germinating in pre-revolutionary times to develop, and be widely discussed and materially embodied in the real world.

A revolution turns all preconceived notions upside down. When profit held sway in the old society, it suppressed the needs and desires of the masses from whom it was extracted. These very needs and desires were to become the motive force of production in the new socialist society, both satisfying material requirements and, even more fundamentally, nourishing the human personality.

A rich history of revolution

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What can an internet-surfing generation learn from the struggle of workers, soldiers and peasants 90 years ago? Abbie Bakan celebrates the Russian Revolution of October 1917

Since the success of the Russian workers' revolution in October 1917, every period of radicalisation and social transformation brings back this moment of history as a reference point.

Today a new generation has challenged neoliberalism and war across the globe, and activists are once again engaging in hours of discussion about how to change the world. Many who have not thought about politics before are asking new questions, surfing websites, listening to speakers and reading everything they can find. Over and over again the lessons of the Russian Revolution enter the mix.

Bolsheviks and Islam: Religious Rights

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Socialists can learn from how the Bolsheviks approached the Muslims of the Russian empire.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 took place in an empire that was home to 16 million Muslims - some 10 percent of the population. The collapse of Tsarism radicalised Muslims, who demanded religious freedom and national rights denied them by the tsars.

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