A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist.
“The Yeltsin regime ordered a cold-blooded massacre in Moscow on Oct. 4 and 5. There is evidence that the real death toll is many hundreds, perhaps close to a thousand. There are many missing and unaccounted for.
“And there is a conspiracy of silence on the part of the Clinton administration and the U.S. corporate news media. They will stop at nothing to portray Yeltsin as a ‘democrat.’”
So said Greg Butterfield, an activist in the newly formed Campaign for Solidarity with Labor in Russia. The Campaign is planning protest activities in several U.S. cities.
Actions include a Nov. 8 picket in New York City outside the Russian Mission to the United Nations and a Nov. 7 public meeting in San Francisco.
“There is a cover-up going on, and we want to expose it,” Butterfield said. “We also want freedom for the Yeltsin regime’s political prisoners.
“It is the butcher Yeltsin who should be on trial, not those who defended Russia’s constitution and working-class ownership of industry.”
On Oct. 15, even the pro-Yeltsin daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda asked whether the Yeltsin regime was concealing the fate of hundreds of people who were inside Parliament House on Oct. 5 when Yeltsin’s tanks blasted the building for several hours at point-blank range.
The article was headlined, “Did the White House Become a Brotherhood Grave?” The newspaper cited reports that hundreds of bodies may have been removed from the parliament building through underground passages and secretly cremated.
It interviewed firefighters who had seen the floors of the Parliament House covered with blood but saw no bodies.
The paper told of calls from family members of parliament defenders whose relatives have disappeared. And it reported crude intimidation attempts by an official of the Russian prosecutor’s office who warned an editor, “Don’t stick your nose in something that’s not your affair.”
The Yeltsin regime officially claims that 187 people, mostly anti-Yeltsin protesters, were slain on Oct. 4-5. Forty-three were supposedly killed in Parliament House.
But Kalmyck Republic President Kirsan Ilumzhumov, who was inside the building, reported seeing “not 50 or 70 but hundreds of bodies.”
“Most of those killed were unarmed,” Illumzhumov told the Oct. 16 Izvestia, Russia’s largest-circulation daily. “When we first arrived there were about 500 killed, and by the end I think the figure rose to 1,000.”
U.S. BLESSES REPRESSION
None of this fazed U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher. He traveled to Moscow on Oct. 23 to express support for Yeltsin’s “courage,” and to promise him financial aid.
A State Department official said supporting Yeltsin was “the U.S. government’s No. 1 foreign policy priority.” (Associated Press, Oct. 23)
Vice President Al Gore plans to visit Yeltsin on Dec. 12. Clinton will shake hands with his Russian buddy in January.
The brutal treatment of thousands of arrested legislators and their supporters doesn’t bother the Clinton administration either. “They beat us again and again and threatened to kill us,” one deputy told Komsomolskaya Pravda. (Oct. 15) “But what was most degrading and bestial was their mass rape of a woman. She pleaded with them to have mercy on her. But it was of no use.”
In a letter printed in the Oct. 5 British Guardian, Vladimir Isakov, chair of the parliament’s Constitutional Committee, wrote: “They beat us with rubber truncheons, with the butts of their guns and they kicked us with their boots, swearing at us with the worst possible insults and saying things like ‘there’s privatization for you.’
“They hit us without caring who we were: doctors, teachers, police, factory directors. We had just one name—‘deputies,’ objects of hatred by the Yeltsin regime, enemies who have to be crushed if all is to be well and the ‘reforms’ can go ahead at full speed.”
On Oct. 25, Yeltsin signed a decree legalizing private ownership and sale of land, despite what even the U.S. media admit is opposition by the great majority of collective farmers and state farm workers.
According to the Associated Press, polls in the Nizny Novgorod region—targeted for an “experimental privatization program” by the World Bank—showed 70 percent of the farmers oppose privatization. “We’ve had a good collective, why break it up, ” said Vladimir Grishatov, a young farm worker from Niva.
On Nov. 1, the State Statistics Committee admitted that Russia’s industrial production had dropped 17 percent in the first nine moths of this year while national income fell 15 percent. Prices continued to climb at a rate of 20 percent a month.
Meanwhile, 16 political prisoners languish in Moscow’s Lefertovo Prison for the “crime” of organizing opposition to Yeltsin’s destruction of Russia’s socialist economy. Among them is Victor Anpilov of the now-banned Labor Russia and the Russian Communist Workers Party.
Before Yeltsin’s attack on the parliament, Anpilov was helping to organize an assembly of workers and farmers from all former Soviet republics to demand the restoration of the socialist Soviet Union. The gathering was to take place on Nov. 7, the anniversary of the great workers’ revolution of 1917.
Showing its fear, the Yeltsin regime has now banned all gatherings in Moscow on that day.
But it was not for lack of edicts, prisons or brutal cops that the czars fell. The specter of 1917 is still haunting Yeltsin—and Clinton.
And it will not be exorcised by emergency decrees. Soviet workers, not Wall Street bankers, will have the last word.