HUNDREDS of activists from across the labour and progressive movements gathered to celebrate the centenary of the “epoch-making” Russian Revolution at Congress House in London on Saturday.
Unite official Andrew Murray described the revolution as one of the “most important events in history” and explained how “the political, economic and social model that issued from that revolution prevailed over one-third of the Earth.”
Its success was the “cosmic background radiation” to many other achievements and “led to the defeat and destruction of fascism in the second world war,” he explained.
Professor David Lane argued that the Bolsheviks deserved immense credit for the skill they showed in surviving in the face of overwhelming force as they were encircled and invaded by hostile armies.
He pointed to the achievements of “state socialism” in narrowing inequality and unleashing a cultural revolution which inspired and supported liberation movements in colonial states.
“State socialism was the alternative to market capitalism and private ownership,” he said, “achieving something that its left critics never have [achieved].”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) politician Brinda Karat said the achievements of the first socialist state “beckon us to understand what was possible and what it is possible to create today,” describing it as an “inspiration.”
Ms Karat explained how the party in India is being subjected to attacks from right-wing nationalists, who have killed 200 comrades over the last four years.
She quoted an agricultural worker who told her in hospital: “They can take away my work, they can burn my home. I will sleep in the field.
“But as long as I live they can never take away the red flag from my hand and my heart. And if they kill me there are other hands to hold it.” email@example.com