by Olga BAZANQVA, journalist
Early in 2005 Russia's State Museum of History invited its visitors to an exhibition "The First Revolution. The First Parliament" which marked the centenary of these momentous events in the history of our country.
Russia's past abounds in events of dazzling glory and indescribable tragedy which are often inseparable from one another. And it is only natural that many uprisings, battles, revolts and fateful legal acts and the persons associated with them have been causing heated debates and aroused some directly opposite assessments. As for us, we should never forget the words of our great national poet Alexander Pushkin who said he would never agree to changing his motherland or its history - the history of our forefathers, such as was given us by God. One of these debatable pages of this history belongs to the First Russian Revolution.
The spontaneous protests of workers of the Putilovsky Plant which flamed up in St. Petersburg on January 3,1905 were supported by workers of several others, including the Nevsky Shipbuilding, and Patronny factories. In a matter of four days the Northern Russian capital was gripped by a general strike. Its participants (no less than 106 thous. or more) put forward mainly economic demands. One of the prominent public figures of that time was priest Father Gapon, founder of an organization called "Assembly of Russian Factory Workers of St. Petersburg". He suggested writing a petition to Emperor Nikolai II informing him of aspirations of the common folk and then march to the Winter Palace to present the petition to the Emperor at a special public cere-
mony. His initiative was supported and a special document was prepared describing the plight of the common people, asking for the establishment of an 8-hour working day, for granting citizens political freedoms and for calling a Constituent Assembly from representatives of all social groups.
Early in the morning on January 9 of that year crowds ... Читать далее