In 1905 workers gathered in St. Petersburg on January 22 to carry out protests that would lead to a violent massacre.
When the leader of this organized protest, priest Georgy Gapon, gathered workers in order to speak out about desired work reforms, Gapon did not expect his peaceful assembly would result in a violent outburst. In his petition that he created for the group, Gapon called for reforms to be made in order to give back general human rights, help combat poverty and to have certain labor laws put into effect. In the eyes of the group, these requests were things that were necessary to allow workers to be freed from the slavery they believed to be in.
However, despite Gapon’s attempt to keep the protest peaceful, Tsar Nicholas II chose not to hear the people out and instead to leave the area; leaving the protesters to come face to face with the soldiers awaiting their arrival to St. Petersburg. Ultimately, the protest resulted in many protesters being killed or injured.
However, this was not a complete loss for the dissatisfied public. As we can see from the image of the newspaper headline above, the violence that came from the Tsar’s people resulted in the beginning of the Revolution. After the people had suffered for so long and grown to have so much hatred, an act such as this unleashed all of their emotions. Thus, the suffering that happened on this day, ultimately lead to union of a dissatisfied public to go against the unpopular government.
Freeze, Gregory L. Russia. A History, 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Gapon, Georgii and Vasimov, Ivan. “Workers’ Petition.” 1905. Available at: http://academic.shu.edu/russianhistory/index.php/Workers%27_Petition,_January_9th,_1905_(Bloody_Sunday)
History. “Bloody Sunday Massacre in Russia.” History.com. Available at: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/bloody-sunday-massacre-in-russia
Bloody Sunday Image: http://www.rarenewspapers.com/view/218646