Kronstadt 1921

[This month or next is 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. My poem commemorates the anti-Bolshevik Kronstadt rebellion by sailors and workers seeking freedom and an end to Bolshevik repression. They were brutally crushed and murdered by the members of the Bolshevik Party themselves who were holding a congress in nearby Petrograd, today’s St Petersburg. The photo shows them marching on Kronstadt across the ice. One wonders what might have happened if the Bolsheviks had been defeated…]

Kronstadt 1921

Three years of civil war, the workers & sailors
exhausted, starving, oppressed by Trotsky’s
militarisation of work, arise in Kronstadt.

Freely elected soviets, release of political
prisoners, an end to the Bolshevik State’s
stealing peasants’ crops at the point of a gun!

Shoot them down like pheasants! screams
General Trotsky & the Communist Congress
claps. While its Cheka shoots hundreds,

Kronstadt’s anarchist sailors shoot none
of Lenin’s commissars they hold. Those
with ethics lose, the winners have none

& lose as well. O Kronstadt, you echo
down through Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest
& Prague till the last Wall crumbles

& the freedom to buy brands & bananas
resets the pilgrimage to another freedom
to run the factories, to bread & roses for all.


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on October 17, 2017.

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