The Bill of Petersburg Workers (9 January 1905)

Your Majesty! We, the workers and residents of different classes of St. Petersburg, our wives and children, old parents come to you to seek for the truth and protection. We lost our property, we are under oppression, we work in very hard and bad conditions, we suffer from the outrages, and we look like the slaves who must suffer their own bitter fate and be silent. We endured, but we appeared in the poverty, lawlessness, and ignorance. We cannot put up the tyranny and mercy, because we are scant of breath from it. There is no more intensity, our Czar. The limit of our patience has come. That cruel moment has come to us: when the death is better than the continuation of crashing sufferings.

And now we threw up the job and said to our masters that we don’t begin to work until they have fulfilled our requirements. We ask only the most necessary things. Those things without we cannot exist. Our first request is to talk to our masters about our needs. But our request was disallowed. Because they said that we haven’t such right. Also we asked to reduce the working day to 8 hours per day, to set prices for our work together and with our consent, to discuss our claims with lowest administration of the factories, to increase the salary for the labourers and women to 1 ruble per day, to abolish the overtime works, to treat us careful and without any abuses, to create the good working conditions.

From our masters point of view, all our requests are offensive and impudent.

Your Majesty! We are many thousands, but we are people only in show, in appearance, - in reality, we haven’t any human rights. We cannot speak, think free. All of us who venture upon to defend the working class’ interests can get into trouble. Such qualities as kindness and responsibility are crimes. Taking pity of the unhappy, lawless men means to commit a serious crime. All working people and peasants suffer from the bureaucratic government, consisting of the peculators and robbers. Those people don’t care about people’s interests. The bureaucratic government brought the country to the full ruin, as a result of it, Russia comes to the destruction. We, the workers and residents, haven’t any right to vote. We don’t know where is our money. People deprived the possibility to express their own desires, requirements, to participate in tax assessment and spending. The working people deprived the possibility to organize in the alliances to protect their own interests.

Your Majesty! Is this in according to the divine law. Thanks to these laws you can rule. Is it possible to live in according to this law. It will be better to die for all working people over Russia. Let live and enjoy the capitalists – slave-drivers of the working class and the bureaucrat-peculators and robbers of Russian people.

All these problems deprived us to come to you, Your Majesty. We hope you help us. Don’t reject us, help us. Output us from the poverty and lawlessness, give us the possibility to control our destiny, help us to get rid off the bureaucrat’s oppression. Your people want to rule of the country together. Look at our requests without temper: they direct to the good. They will be useful not only for us but also for you, Your Majesty. Russia is a huge country, and its needs are very different and numerous so that only the bureaucrats can rule it.

It’s necessary to have the representation of the people. Don’t push off the help of your people, accept it and say to call the representatives of different classes. Let all people choose their own representatives: capitalist, worker, bureaucrat, priest, doctor, and teacher. Let everyone be equal and free. Also we need:

Sovereign, it’s necessary to take other measures and we make no bones about it and talk up to you, like our Father, from all working class of Russia. It’s necessary to take:

1.Measures against ignorance and Russian people powerlessness.

1) immediate liberation and return of all those, who smarted for political and religious convictions, hueglas and peasant’s riots.

2) immediate freedom and personal immunity proclamation, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of meeting, freedom of conscience concerning religion.

3) general and compulsory public education in the State.

4) civil responsibility of ministers and guarantee of government for legal rules.

5) equality of all people before the law.

6) separation of Church and State.

2. Measures against people poverty.

1) to revoke hidden tax and to replace them with graduated income tax.

2) Purchase Payment rescission, law-interest credit and cession of land for people.

3) martial and sea orders execution of ministers must be in Russia and not abroad.

4) war cease by the people’s wish.

3. Measures against capital pressure over the work.

1) the cancellation of the institution of factory inspectors.

2) the formation of the committee of elective labours in the factories and plants, which will review conjointly with administration all the claims of the separate labours. The redundancy can be done only with this committee ordinance.

3) the freedom of consumer-industrial labour organizations.

4) eight hours working day and normalization of overtime work.

5) freedom of work strife with capital.

6) regular salary.

7) obligatory participation of labours in draft in a bill manufacture concerning the state insurance of labours.

Sovereign, these are the main our needs with which we went to you. With its accomplishment it will be possible to free our country from the slavery and poverty, our country will flourish, it will be possible, for the labours, to refuse from the terrible exploitation of capitalists and official government to protect their own interests.

Order and swear to hold them and you’ll make Russia happy and famous, and your name will be in our heart and in the heart of our descendant for a long time. If you will not agree to do so, if you are not listen to our entreaties, we’ll die at this very place near your palace. We have no place to go and it doesn’t make a sense. We have two ways:either freedom or happiness or grave… Let our life will be the victim for Russia. We don’t regret for this victim. We willingly make the sacrifice.

translated by D. Duk and Tkachuk

Конструктор сайтов - uCoz