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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Lenin speaks on Red Square, May 1, 1919

Photos of Revolutionary Russia #41

Lenin speaks on Red Square, May 1, 1919 -- Photos of Revolutionary Russia #41

Lenin delivers a speech on Red Square at the opening of the temporary monument to Stepan Razin on International Workers' Day, 1919. The monument was being built atop the Lobnoye Mesto which was a symbol of czarist oppression.

Lenin said:

Comrades, we are today celebrating May Day in company with proletarians throughout the world who thirst for the overthrow of capital. This Lobnoye Mesto is a reminder of how many centuries of torment were suffered by the working people under the yoke of the oppressors, for the power of capital never could be maintained except by the force and oppression that even in past times aroused indignation. This monument is erected to one who represented the rebellious peasants. On this spot he laid down his life in the struggle for freedom. Russian revolutionaries have made many sacrifices in the struggle against capital. The best of the proletarians and the peasants, the freedom fighters, perished, but it was not in the fight for the sort of freedom capital offers, freedom in which the banks, private factories and profiteering are retained. Down with such freedom! What we need is real freedom and that is possible only when society consists entirely of working people. To achieve such freedom much labour and many sacrifices will be required. We shall do everything possible to achieve that great aim, to build socialism.


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