SR appeal for opposition to the Bolsheviks' seizure of power, 26 October 1917

To Workers, Peasants, Soldiers and Sailors

Appeal of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party Central Committee

26 October 1917

"In struggle you will find your rights."

Comrade workers, peasants, soldiers and sailors!

You have been basely and criminally deceived!

The seizure of power has been carried out by the Bolsheviks alone. They have abused the name of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, because the Bolsheviks were hiding their plans from the other socialist parties in the Soviet.

This seizure of power has been carried out three weeks before the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, and one day before the opening of the All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies.

When the congress opened and recognised the accomplished fact of the seizure of power it was exceeding its own powers, as all the socialist parties and front delegates had walked out, leaving just the Bolsheviks and those socialist-revolutionary-maximalists who hang on to their coat-tails.

The voice of the working peasantry was not heard. The peasant soviets refused to attend the congress, as it was necessary to work in the localities for the elections to the Constituent Assembly. The All-Russia Executive Committee of Soviets of Peasants' Deputies has protested against the insanity of the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks apprehended No. 147 of Izvestiya Vserossiyskogo soveta krest'yanskikh deputatov and shut the printworks, using gendarme methods to stifle the free voice of the working peasantry.

You have been promised bread, but there will be no bread. The Bolsheviks' rising has completed the chaos on the railways, and even before then we were having trouble ensuring the delivery of grain.

The fact that the Bolsheviks are in power will not cause any new locomotives or wagons to appear or any extra coal to be mined, but the fact that the Bolsheviks have brought about a civil war on the eve of the Constituent Assembly and have destroyed the entire state apparatus will ensure that we will be left completely without either railways or coal.

As a result of the destruction of state power, the banks will be obliged to cease their operations. There will be no money. You will receive neither benefits nor wages.

The Bolsheviks will lead you to the closure of plants and factories, to unemployment and death from starvation.

They have promised you immediate peace, but have given you a new revolution that nobody will deal with - neither our enemies nor our allies. The embassies are leaving. The Bolsheviks have untied the Allies' hands to reach a peace with Germany exclusively at the expense of Russia.

They have promised you immediate peace, but instead will give you a new, most onerous war at the front and a new civil war throughout the country.

They have promised you land and freedom, but the counterrevolution will use the anarchy sown by the Bolsheviks to deprive you of both land and freedom.

In the resolution of the Bolshevik Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies announcing the seizure of power there is not a word about the Constituent Assembly.

You were on the eve of the Constituent Assembly - the Bolsheviks have wrecked it.

The only way to put an end to the anarchy and the already exultant counterrevolution is to create a new revolutionary democratic government which will be recognised by the whole country.

Close ranks around the Committee to Save the Motherland and Revolution, around the socialist parties. They will create a new homogeneous revolutionary-democratic government, and this government will immediately pass the land to the land committees, propose a general democratic peace to all the warring countries, put an end to anarchy and counterrevolution and lead the country to the Constituent Assembly.

Comrade workers, peasants, soldiers and sailors!

You have been basely and criminally deceived. Do not listen to the Bolsheviks, throw them out, let this gang of renegades from the revolution remain isolated, and then their rising will come to an end immediately and without any bloodshed.

Central Committee, Party of Socialist-Revolutionaries
26 October 1917

[First published in Delo naroda, No. 191, 28 October 1917. Source: N D Erofeev, compiler, Partiya sotsialistov-revolyutsionerov, Dokumenty i materialy, Oktyabr' 1917 g. - 1925 g. Rosspen, Moscow, 2000, pp. 31 - 32.]