[R-G] Moscow: Communists mark October - update
bstoller at utopia2000.org
Thu Nov 7 11:53:10 MST 2002
AFP (with additional material by AP). 7 November 2002. Russian
Communists march in Moscow to mark Bolshevik revolution.
MOSCOW -- Thousands of flag-waving communists marched past Moscow's Red
Square Thursday to mark the 85th anniversary of the 1917 Russian
revolution as a poll indicated a growing pride in the Soviet past.
Under frosty but clear blue skies, the marchers carried placards bearing
the slogans: "Capitalism is War," and "Down with the Bourgeoisie."
According to organisers, 20,000 people took part.
Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, who addressed the rally in
front of a statue of Karl Marx, accused President Vladimir Putin and his
predecessor Boris Yeltsin of driving Russia into the ground.
"Over the past 10 years, they have practically destroyed one of the
world's great powers," he said.
Holding red flags and brandishing portraits of Lenin, the marchers
followed a two-kilometre (mile) route from a statue of Lenin, past Red
Square to the bust of Karl Marx, opposite the famous Bolshoi theatre.
Marchers in a column representing the National Bolshevik Party wore gas
masks, saying they did not want to breathe "the foul air of capitalism."
Others carried black banners saying "Down with Putin!" and "Putin -
resign!," while vendors hawked 2003 calendars featuring a portrait of
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
A group of young radicals marched beneath a shark made from U.S.,
British and Israeli flags, presumably protesting threatened airstrikes
The anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik uprising, on November 7 (October
25 in the old Russian calendar), remains a public holiday in the
post-Soviet era, but was officially remodelled by Yeltsin as a "day of
Today, more than a decade since the collapse of the Soviet Union in
1991, attitudes have begun to mellow towards the Soviet past.
According to a nationwide poll published on Thursday, 60 percent of
people believe the "October" revolution had had a positive effect on
Russia, compared with 49 percent in a 1990 poll.
Thirty-three percent said the Communist takeover had spurred social and
economic development in Russia and another 27 percent said it ushered in
a new era for the country.
The survey by the All-Russian Centre for Public Opinion Studies, which
interviewed 1,600 people at the end of October, also found that 43
percent of people would have actively supported the Bolsheviks.
Red Square, where the Communist faithful traditionally marched past
Politburo members in the Soviet era, was off limits to the Communist
demonstrators on Thursday.
But several hundred World War II veterans marched through the square to
commemorate a similar procession on November 7, 1941, before they
departed for the front to fight Nazi Germany, television reported.
In 1917 on this day, Bolshevik workers and soldiers seized government
buildings in Petrograd (as the imperial capital Saint Petersburg was
then known) and arrested the provisional government in the Winter
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