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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 13, New Delhi, March 13, 2021

In February 1921 the Kronstadt sailors issued a list of demands, including the restoration of freedom of speech from the ruling Bolsheviks

Friday 12 March 2021


Demands of the Kronstadt Insurgents. February 28, 1921

Demands expressed in the “Resolution of the General Meeting of the Crews of the Ships of the Line, Kronstadt”

Original Source: Pravda o Kronshtadte (Prague: Volia Rossii, 1921), pp. 46-7.

Having heard the report of the representatives of the crews dispatched by the General Meeting of the crews from the ships to Petrograd in order to learn the state of affairs in Petrograd, we decided:

1. In view of the fact that the present soviets do not represent the will of the workers and peasants, to re-elect the soviets immediately by secret voting, with free canvassing among all workers and peasants before the elections.

2. Freedom of speech and press for workers, peasants, Anarchists and Left Socialist Parties.

3. Freedom of meetings, trade unions and peasant associations.

4. To convene, not later than 1 March 1921, a non-party conference of workers, soldiers and sailors of Petrograd City, Kronstadt and Petrograd Province.

5. To liberate all political prisoners of Socialist Parties, and also all workers, peasants, soldiers and sailors who have been imprisoned in connection with working-class and peasant movements.

6. To elect a commission to review the cases of those who are imprisoned in jails and concentration camps.

7. To abolish all Political Departments, because no single party may enjoy privileges in the propagation of its ideas and receive funds from the state for this purpose. Instead of these Departments, locally elected cultural-educational commissions must be established and supported by the state. This is the reason for the inclusion of this document in a collection otherwise devoted entirely to official publications.

8. All ‘cordon detachments” are to be abolished immediately.

9. To equalize rations for all workers, harmful sectors being excepted.

10. To abolish all Communist fighting detachments in all military units, and also the various Communist guards at factories. If such detachments and guards are needed they may be chosen from the companies in military units and in the factories according to the judgment of the workers.

11. To grant the peasant full right to do what he sees fit with his land and also to possess cattle, which he must maintain and manage with his own strength, but without employing hired labor.

12. To ask all military units and also our comrades, the military cadets, to associate themselves with our resolutions.

13. We demand that all resolutions be widely published in the press.

14. To appoint a traveling bureau for control.

15. To permit free artisan production with individual labor.

The resolutions were adopted by the meeting unanimously, with two abstentions.
President of the Meeting, PETRICHENKO.
Secretary, PEREPELKIN.

Source: William Henry Chamberlin, The Russian Revolution, 1917-1921 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1935), Vol. II, p. 495.

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