Individuals from more than 50 countries have registered to participate in the International Committee of the Fourth International’s online lecture series to commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution.
There is widespread interest in the lectures, with workers, students, retirees and others signing up through the World Socialist Web Site, on social media and in campaigns by Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality supporters at campuses and workplaces. Registrations have come in from all continents of the globe, excluding Antarctica.
A video interview with WSWS International Editorial Board Chairperson David North has been viewed more than 65,000 times on Facebook, with a shorter clip viewed more than 35,000 times. North will be delivering the first lecture in the series, “Why Study the Russian Revolution?” this Saturday at 5:00 p.m. EST (10:00 p.m. in London, 11:00 p.m. in Berlin, and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday in Sydney: Time Zone Conversions).
“I want to hear about an event that shaped the world in the 20th century,” wrote M from Turkmenistan, upon registering through the WSWS. “The revolution in the Russian Empire changed everything around the world, and it is truly a historic event,” wrote Bakhytzhan from Kazakhstan.
Rigel from Mexico wrote, “I am looking to understand the Russian Revolution under Trotsky’s light. In my country, Marxism is too distorted by Stalinist and Castroist dogmas.”
Iwan from the Netherlands wrote that he registered to attend the lectures because it is necessary to “learn from the past in order to be better prepared for the next revolutionary situation.”
Rashard from Flint, Michigan, in the United States, explained, “I'm attending this series to get a better understanding of the importance of this movement, how it connects to what’s currently taking place today, and finally, what the working class does to help bring about another revolution of this magnitude around the world.”
A registrant from Turkey wrote, “I’m a Trotskyist metal worker who is fighting for building a Turkish section of the ICFI. We must prepare new October Revolutions.”
An IYSSE team spoke to students at San Diego State University about the Russian Revolution and the politial situation in the United States (see video).
Over the weekend, an SEP campaign team spoke to workers at the Fiat Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan. They distributed the latest WSWS Autoworkers Newsletter as well as a leaflet publicizing the Russian Revolution lecture series.
Bob, a second-tier worker at the plant, said that he was interested in hearing about the Russian Revolution and saw elements of the same conditions that produced it present in the world today.
“These are serious times. Me and my buddies talk about it all the time in the factory. They are increasing the military and talking about bringing back the draft. Something is up.
“I think in their world we are only one protest away from martial law. It could be caused by civil unrest, a natural disaster or the use of some other cover. They could stage it or let it happen naturally."
A retired worker from the Delta GM plant in Lansing, Michigan, said after a discussion on the origins of the Russian Revolution, “It goes to show how little has changed. The dynamics at that time are similar to today.
“Trump will embolden the police,” the worker added. “There will be a lot more repression and killings. It is becoming clearer to people that we live in a plutocracy. We are still fighting the same things they fought out 100 years ago. Some of the greatest minds were communists—Marx and Trotsky. I didn't learn any of this in school. People’s eyes need to be opened."
Chris in Los Angeles, California, wrote upon registering with an SEP supporter, “The world of 2017 may be technologically advanced when compared to 1917, but socially 2017 looks a lot like the 1890s. As capital exploits workers on a truly global scale, the time is ripe for a truly revolutionary restructuring of society on the scale of the Russian Revolution.”