St. Petersburg After January 9
|Written||25 January 1905|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, Moscow, Volume 8, pages 136-137.
On Monday, January 10, St. Petersburg looked like a city just conquered by an enemy. Cossack patrols kept riding through the streets. Here and there stood excited groups of workers. In the evening many of the streets were plunged in darkness. There was no electricity or gas. The aristocratic houses were guarded by groups of janitors. Blazing news stands threw a lurid light on knots of people.
In Nevsky Prospekt there were clashes between the people and the military. Shots were again fired at the crowd. Three volleys were fired outside the Anichkov Palace. The police shut the fire-arms shops and removed all weapons to the cellars, taking apparently all possible measures to prevent the workers from arming. The officials in the government offices were particularly alarmed; they feared fires and explosions and fled from St. Petersburg in a panic.
The barricades which the troops had captured on Sunday on Vasilyevsky Island were thrown up again on Monday and were recaptured by the soldiers.
There were no newspapers. The schools were closed. At numerous private meetings the workers discussed the events and measures of resistance. Crowds of sympathisers, especially students, besieged the hospitals.
The workers of Kolpino, twenty to thirty thousand strong, were said to have marched out to Tsarskoye. Selo on Tuesday morning with a petition. The garrison of Tsarskoye Selo sent out a regiment of infantry and a field battery to intercept them. A clash occurred within five versts of Kolpino; the troops fired and finally repulsed and scattered the workers at 4 p. m. There were many killed and wounded. The workers twice attacked the Tsarskoye Selo railway, but were repulsed. The rails were pulled up for a distance of seven versts and no trains ran in the morning.
The government buried the victims of Bloody Vladimir Sunday at night, in secret. The relatives and friends of the slain were deliberately misled, so that no demonstrations would be held at the burials. Corpses were taken to the Preobrazhensky Cemetery by the car-load. In some places the crowd nevertheless attempted, despite all police precautions, to hold demonstrations in honour of the fallen fighters for liberty.
Feeling against the army among the population ran high. The foreign newspapers, on the basis of accounts by eyewitnesses, report that on Tuesday, January 11, the Cossacks stopped a horse tram full of workers in Bolshoi Prospekt. One of the workers had shouted at the Cossacks, “Butchers!” The Cossacks stopped the tram, made all the passengers get out and beat them with the flats of their swords. One of the men was wounded. The tenants of nearby houses opened their windows and shouted at the Cossacks, “Murderers! Bandits!” Thursday’s telegrams reported that during this incident a woman passenger was also driven out of the tram by the Cossacks. In her fright she dropped her child, which was trampled to death by the Cossacks’ horses (The Times). Such victories of our troops over the workers are truly Pyrrhic Victories.