8/3/1917 Petrograd: demonstrators descend on the city centre

In Petrograd it is sunny and unseasonably warm. It is also International Women’s Day and large numbers of women are taking part in demonstrations to demand equality. As the day wears on women industrial workers desert their posts and march on the city centre, joined by increasing numbers of their menfolk. An increasingly radical mood is evident, with people shouting both for bread and for the overthrow of the Tsar. Clashes erupt as surprised policemen try to block the crowds from reaching the city centre. The police successfully block the main bridges into the centre but many people walk across the frozen river. The authorities send forth the cossacks, but they are curiously reluctant to disperse the crowds, declining to use the brutality for which they are famed.

As night falls the demonstrators make their way home. There is some looting of shops and talk of what is to be done tomorrow.

image source:

Women demonstrators (Russia February 1917)

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