Bloody Sunday (1905)

Bloody Sunday (1905)

:"For other incidents referred to by this name, see Bloody Sunday.":"For the song, see Sunday Bloody Sunday (song)."

Bloody Sunday ( _ru. Кровавое воскресенье) was an incident on OldStyleDate|January 22|1905|January 9 in St. Petersburg, Russia, where unarmed, peaceful demonstrators marching to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II were gunned down by the Imperial Guard. The event was organized by Father Gapon,Fact|date=September 2008 who was paid by the Okhrana, the Tsarist secret police, and thus considered to be its agent provocateur . Bloody Sunday was a serious blunder on the part of the Okhrana, and an event with grave consequences for the Tsarist regime, as the blatant disregard for ordinary people shown by the massacre undermined support for the state.



Bloody Sunday

On the fated Sunday, striking workers and their families gathered at six points in the city of St. Petersburg. They were organised and led by Father Gapon, a Russian priest who was concerned about the conditions experienced by the working and lower classes. He drew up a petition to be presented to the Tsar, making clear the problems and opinions of the workers, and calling for improved working conditions, fairer wages and a reduction in the working day to eight hours. Other demands included an end to the Russo-Japanese war and the introduction of universal suffrage.Clutching religious icons and singing hymns and patriotic songs (particularly "God save the czar"), a crowd of about 200,000, led by Father Gapon proceeded towards the Winter Palace, the Tsar's official residence, without police interference. The demonstrators brought along their families in hope of seeing their beloved Tsar and delivering the petition to him as they believed he would take into account their miseries and attempt to sort their problems for them. They believed it would be a peaceful and patriotic day during which they could pass on their petition to the czar. The army pickets near the palace released warning shots, and then fired directly into the crowds to disperse them. Gapon was fired upon near the Narva Gate. Around forty people surrounding him were killed, but he was not injuredFact|date=June 2007. Although the Tsar had not been present at the Winter Palace at this time, he received the blame for the deaths, resulting in a surge of bitterness towards himself and his autocratic rule from the Russian people.

The number killed is uncertain. The czar's officials recorded 96 dead and 333 injured; anti-government sources claimed more than 4,000 dead; moderate estimates still average around 1,000 killed or wounded, both from shots and trampled during the panic. Nicholas II described the day as 'painful.' As reports spread across the city, disorder and looting broke out. Gapon's Assembly was closed down that day, and Gapon quickly left Russia. Returning in October, he was assassinated by his friend Pinhas Rutenberg when Gapon revealed that he was working for the Okhrana or Secret Police. [] .

This event inflamed revolutionary activities in Russia and contributed to the Revolution of 1905.

External links

* Petition prepared for presentation to the Tsar.

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