October Observance

May Day, 1919

Below we publish Lenin’s speech delivered in Red Square on the May Day, 1919

LENIN’S appearance among the demonstrators was greeted with a lengthy ovation. After greeting the Moscow and world proletariat, Lenin compared the May Day celebrations of the previous year with the present celebrations. In the course of the year, he said, the political situation had changed considerably in favour of Soviet power. On May the First the year before they had been threatened by German imperialism, it had been routed and dispersed.

The First Steps Towards The Protection of Motherhood

Alexandra Kollantai, was a prominent leader of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, who joined the Bolsheviks.  She became a member of the Central Committee in 1917. After the October Revolution, she became the Commissar for Social Welfare in the revolutionary government. She made her mark in bringing women to revolutionary politics. Below we publish the excerpts of an article written by her in 1918.

Education, literacy, and the Russian Revolution

All Russia was learning to read, and reading – politics, economics, history – because the people wanted to know. . . . In every city, in most towns, along the Front, each political faction had its newspaper – sometimes several. Hundreds of thousands of pamphlets were distributed by thousands of organisations, and poured into the armies, the villages, the factories, the streets. The thirst for education, so long thwarted, burst with the Revolution into a frenzy of expression.

Make Way for the Women

THE question of women’s rights in the Soviet Union was resolved through a fundamental restructuring of the old society with the active participation of the women themselves. The Bolshevik Party founded by Lenin, which guided the October Revolution and consolidated the new social system, viewed the question of women’s rights as one of the most important social problems that the triumphant Revolution had to solve.

Draft Regulations on Workers’ Control

After the October Revolution, the Revolutionary government passed a decree which established workers control over factories.  This was the first ever step for workers control in any country.  Lenin prepared the draft Regulations on Workers Control soon after the Revolution on October 26 or 27 (November 8 or 9) in 1917.  The draft was subsequently placed before the Council of People’s Commissars, after which detailed draft Regulations on Workers Control was drawn up.

Decree on Peace

The Bolsheviks under Lenin’s leadership had opposed the participation of Tsarist Russia in the First World War. Lenin had declared the war to be an “imperialist war” which had destroyed the lives of millions of workers who were drafted by the imperialist governments in Europe as soldiers to fight the war.

Unlike the Social democrats of various European countries, the Bolsheviks opposed the war and called for an end to the conflict. “Peace” along with “land” and “bread” were the slogans which mobilised the workers, peasants and soldiers around the October Revolution.


(1) Landed proprietorship is abolished forthwith without any compensation.

(2) The landed estates, as also all crown, monastery, and church lands, with all their livestock, implements, buildings and everything pertaining thereto, shall be placed at the disposal of the volost land committees and the uyezd Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly.


Commemorating the centenary of the October Revolution, we shall be regularly publishing in this column, writings, essays, articles and reproduce important documents concerning the Russian Revolution, 1917. 

THE Bolsheviks, having obtained a majority in the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies of both capitals, can and must take state power into their own hands.

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