Eastern Europe

Strike wave sweeps Finland

Senate Square, Helsinki

Finland is experiencing its worst outbreak of industrial unrest for a generation after relations between the right-leaning government coalition and powerful trade unions collapsed over wage negotiations.

Poland: Bus drivers win strike

Bus drivers in Kielce have won their strike against privatisation.

1919-1922: The Workers’ Opposition

Leading Workers' Opposition activist, Alexandra Kollontai

A short history of a group within the Russian Communist Party that struggled against the increasing party bureaucracy and for trade union control over industry which, by 1922, had been forcibly disbanded by the party.

Counter-revolution and the Soviet Union - Gregori Maximov

The Red Army enter Tblisi, February 1921

Short essay by famous Russian anarchist, Gregori Maximov, on the defeat of the 1917 revolution by counter-revolution from within.

Medvedev, Sergei Pavlovich, 1885-1937

Petrograd Soviet, 1917

Story of the life of Bolshevik metal worker and member of the Workers' Opposition group, Sergei Medvedev, who, like many others who criticised his party's bureaucracy, was executed by the party he spent the majority of his life serving.

Kollontai, Alexandra, 1872-1952

Alexandra Kollontai, 1952

Short biography of the Bolshevik feminist Alexandra Kollontai who played a crucial role in the Workers Opposition movement. The biography does not deal with Kollontai's support for the Bolsheviks against workers, so we have added two examples at the end of the text.

Women fighters in the days of the great October Revolution - Alexandra Kollontai

Russian revolutionary women in 1905

In this article, written in 1927 (well after the Bolshevik consolidation of power), Alexandra Kollontai describes the leading role in which women played in Russian Revolution of 1917. Though heavily Bolshevik in focus, it describes well the activity of working class women in the revolution.

The Workers' Opposition - Alexandra Kollontai

Alexandra Kollontai at the International Women's Conference, 1921

Kollontai's pamphlet was one of the central theoretical works of the Workers' Opposition movement within the Bolshevik Party, arguing for increased union control of the economy and the debureaucratisation of the party hierarchy.

On the History of the Movement of Women Workers in Russia - Alexandra Kollontai

Written in 1919, Alexandra Kollontai's essay looks at the role of working class women in the history of Russian radicalism with particular focus on the 1905 revolution.

Shliapnikov, Alexander, 1885-1937

Alexander Shliapnikov

Biography of working class Bolshevik, Alexander Shliapnikov, active in the Workers' Opposition movement who was eventually purged from the party and executed for his activities.