Shelgunov Demonstration

Shelgunov Demonstration


a demonstration that took place in St. Petersburg on Apr. 15 (27), 1891, at the funeral of N. V. Shelgunov. Planned as a limited display of antigovernment feeling, it turned into a major political demonstration against tsarism; between 6,000 and 7,000 people, including workers, students, and members of the democratic intelligentsia, took part.

The Brusnev group, one of the earliest Russian Social Democratic organizations, helped plan the demonstration, and approximately 100 of the group’s working-class members marched behind Shelgunov’s coffin. K. M. Norinskii and S. I. Funtikov carried a wreath sent by the workers of St. Petersburg.

On the following day, the police made arrests, and L. B. Krasin, N. K. Mikhailovskii, P. V. Zasodimskii, and others were exiled from the city. The demonstration was the first public act of working-class Social Democrats and, as such, represents a milestone in the growth of Social Democracy in Russia.


Geshin, E. V. “Shelgunovskaia demonstratsiia.” Minuvshie gody, 1908. no. 11.
V nachale puti: Vospominaniia peterburgskikh rabochikh 1872–1897. Leningrad, 1975.