In Defence of October

Study the lessons of the Russian Revolution

About us 1917 Live

The February Revolution
Strikes and protests erupt on women's day in Petrograd and develop into a mass movement involving hundreds of thousands of workers; within 5 days the workers win over the army and bring down the hated and seemingly omnipotent Tsarist Monarchy.
Lenin Returns
Lenin returns to Russia and presents his ‘April Theses’ denouncing the Bourgeois Provisional Government and calling for “All Power to the Soviets!”
The June Days
Following the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the reformist leaders called a demonstration to show the strength of "democracy". 400,000 people attended, the vast majority carried banners with Bolshevik slogans.
The July Days
Spontaneous, armed demonstrations against the Provisional Government erupt in Petrograd. The workers and soldiers are suppressed by force, introducing a period of reaction and making the peaceful development of the revolution impossible.
The Kornilov Counter-Revolution
General Kornilov attempts to move troops into Petrograd, with the aim of seizing power and crushing the revolution. The coup is defeated by the masses, with the Bolsheviks playing a leading organizational and political role in Petrograd.
The October Revolution
The Provisional Government is overthrown. State power passes to the Soviets on the morning of 26th October, after the Bolsheviks’ Military Revolutionary Committee seize the city and the cabinet surrenders.
  • V. I. Lenin

    V. I. Lenin

    "The dominating trait of his character, the feature which constituted half his make-up, was his will..."
  • L. Trotsky

    L. Trotsky

    “Astounding speeches, fanfares of orders, the unceasing electrifier of a weakening army.”
  • G. Plekhanov

    G. Plekhanov

    "In the final analysis the brilliant aspects of Plekhanov’s character will endure forever."
  • G. O. Zinoviev

    G. O. Zinoviev

    "Zinoviev has won the reputation of being one of the most remarkable orators – a difficult feat."
  • Y. M. Sverdlov

    Y. M. Sverdlov

    “He did not die on the field of battle, but we are right to see him as a man who gave his life for the cause.”
  • V. Volodarsky

    V. Volodarsky

    “He was always to be seen in the front row, the on-the-spot leader. So, they killed him.”
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Reading Guides

  • The Russian Revolution

    The Russian Revolution

    It is important that all those who were fighting for a better world today should make a serious study of the lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.
  • February Revolution

    February Revolution

    This list of chapters and articles on February is intended to supplement the broader reading guide for the Russian Revolution as a whole that we published earlier this year.
  • Lenin Returns in April

    Lenin Returns in April

    This reading guide contains a selection of Lenin’s most important writings and speeches from the April period, accompanied by works which provide further details of events at that stage of the Revolution.
  • What is Marxism?

    What is Marxism?

    This reading guide is far from exhaustive, but it provides a solid basis for those wishing to equip themselves with the necessary ideas for the daily work of building the forces of Marxism.
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14 October*
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
* Timezone: GMT
20 October*
London, United Kingdom
* Timezone: GMT