November 7 2014
Changing the World, Changing History:
The Russian Revolution of October 1917
What do we understand 97 years after the Russian Revolution?
What lessons can be drawn for today’s world crisis?
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Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice in Vancouver Discusses the Russian Revolution in a Successful Forum that Took More Than Four Hours
November 7th marked the 97th anniversary of the victory of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. While almost a century has past since that momentous time in human history, in Vancouver, activists and people from different communities filled Joe's Cafe in East Vancouver to reflect on the impact and legacy of such an historical achievement at an event organized by the Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice. “Changing the World, Changing History: The Russian Revolution of October 1917- A Marxist View” was part two of the Fire This Time Forum Series: “A Marxist World View for Today”.
The evening was MC'd by Janine Solanki. She introduced the evening and the event began with a showing of “October: Ten Days that Shook the World”, the monumental silent film produced in 1928 by Sergei Eisenstein and Grigori Aleksandrov that dramatically tells the story of the victory of the October Revolution, led by the Bolsheviks, in Russia.
After the film, Wilson Munoz, COPE candidate for Vancouver City Council, brought greetings and spoke to participants about the importance of fighting for social justice as well as his campaign for election to city council.
Janine then introduced Ali Yerevani, the speaker for the evening. Ali is a long-time revolutionary socialist, activist and was a participant in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. He is currently the political editor of both the Fire This Time Newspaper and Battle of Ideas Press.
Ali explained that while we are living and working in a world that has seen almost a hundred more years of human history since the Russian Revolution, the conditions that led to the mass movements in Russia in 1917 still exist today for the majority of the world. That hunger, poverty, wars and occupations, imperialism and colonialism are still wreaking havoc on the world's population is a fundamental block to human progress. Ali explained that the significance today of the victorious Russian Revolution of 1917 is that the masses of poor and oppressed people have the ability to make change.
Ali outlined the situation in Tsarist Russia that led to millions of people rising up against oppression. He explained the decisive role of the Bolsheviks, who, although were a minority at the beginning of revolution, became a majority and won the masses over to their revolution against the Tsarist monarchy, liberal and bourgeois parties as well as indecisive reformist socialists and basically all counter-revolutionaries. The decisive role that the Bolsheviks played in appealing to the masses and winning them over to their independent revolutionary working class program to take power is often misrepresented and the Russian Revolution could not have taken place without them and specifically the very central leader Vladimir Lenin.
Indeed, no other revolution in history has ever been the subject of so much discussion and controversy. Discussion flowed in to the evening with questions about the socialist character of the Russian Revolution, its immediate achievements, the revolutions that have taken place around the world since 1917 and how they compared to the Bolshevik Revolution. As midnight was drawing near and Joe's Cafe was closing down, discussion flowed on to the sidewalks on the importance of this momentous day.