In February 1917, the war with Germany was in its third winter and the people of St. Petersburg were hungry. Bread stocks were on the verge of being rationed. Shortages meant some were waiting all night long, and for only part of a loaf and the people of Russia had grown tired of it.
Shortages of Food.
On the 23rd of February, women in the factories came out on the streets to protest the lack of bread.
from Sunlight at Midnight, W. Bruce Lincoln
Soldiers' wives demand increased rations in a demonstration along the Nevskii Prospekt following the celebration of International Women's Day, February 23, 1917. (Photo by K. Bulla. Courtesy of the Central State Archive of Kino-Photo-Phono Documents, St. Petersburg.)
This "International" Women's Day, was a Socialist creation... Karl Marx' terrorist International.
"With 2 million Russian soldiers dead in the war, Russian women again chose the last Sunday in February 1917 to strike for "bread and peace". Political leaders opposed the timing of the strike, but the women went on anyway. The rest is history: Four days later the Czar of Russia was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. That historic Sunday fell on 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia, but coincided with 8 March on the Gregorian calendar used by people elsewhere."
A brief history of International Women's Day
Anger spread when rumors were spread that the bread was deliberately being hoarded.
Women factory workers took to the street in protest, some hurled snowballs at the factory to get them to come out. When the men emerged and joined in the ruckus, it became a significant strike in the capitol.
Socialist Worker's Strike - St. Petersburg
By afternoon over one hundred thousand workers had joined the strike.
Socialist agitators reacted to the demonstrations. The next morning following meetings in factories, the protestors took to the street again, but armed with hammers ready to fight.
Over the next two days the protest grew larger, louder and increasingly difficult to control.
The official response was to use soldiers to sweep the demonstrators from the street.
On February 25, 1917 there was some significant resulting violence to the strike.
Though many protestors had shot down by police, demonstators still crowded the streets. One demonstration however had been brought to a stand-still by a squadron of Kazaks (or Cossacks), who were brought in to support the police.
The Kazaks, traditionally loyal to the Czar, were one of the most brutal fighting units in Russia and notorious for showing no fear in ruthless crushing of demonstrations.
From henceforth, the people referred to them as "Comrade Kazaks," viewing them as merely peasants and workers in uniform. One of the most fiercesome units of Russia's army had proven itself unreliable.
City authorities were forced to turn elsewhere, to Russia's highest authority, for help.
They called on the Czar to intervene.
The Czar was the supreme ruler of the Russian empire, overseeing his war campaign against Germany...
Russian Revolution in Color (DVD)
The Russian Revolution and Civil War, this bloodsoaked time from the battlefields, testimonies, and colorized archives help unfold the dramatic story of the Communist rise and seizure of power in 1917.