Russia Empire in the XX Century entered into a complex economic and political environment. Economic recovery late XIX century gave way to a prolonged economic crisis of 1900-1903. The defeat of the autocracy in the war with Japan had further aggravated the situation in the country. Grodno province experiencing the same negative processes, but with greater depth.
The working class of Grodno province was the most numerous among all 5 of Belarusian provinces. At the 417 enterprises were under the supervision of factory inspection, were employed 15496 workers [9, s.651]. Edge of the proletariat, as well as the entire working class of Russia, subjected to ruthless exploitation, was politically no rights. There are many enterprises were closed and switched to a shorter working day during the economic crisis.
This led to an increase in unemployment, while wages have declined by more than half. All this contributed to the rise of the labor movement.
Thus, in the period 1901-1904 he was a revolutionary situation. in the struggle to improve the economic situation of the workers participated in 9 cities and towns in Grodno Region: Grodno, Volkovysk, Slonim, Smorgon, Oshmyan, Svisloch, Skidel, Lakes. It was organized 64 strikes, and the total number of strikers more than 5 thousand people.
Political struggle in the same period reached 11 cities and towns. Political strikes were held in Grodno (3), Smorgon (3), Slonim (2), Vaukavysk, Ashmyany, Ruzhany, Indura (one). Total province took place on 12 strikes, 11 demonstrations and 98 gatherings and demonstrations. The number of strikers has reached 11.5 thousand workers, demonstrators - 4,2 thousand, participants gatherings and demonstrations - 15,1 thousand
Almost workers Grodno province were in the vanguard of the liberation movement in Belarus [7, l.65-69, 76, 1, p.32].
The prologue of the revolution were the events of 9 January 1905. Results of "Bloody Sunday" in St. Petersburg stirred up the whole of Russia. The strikes, street demonstrations and rallies of protest swept across the country. The Belarusian provinces in January of 20 thousand workers were on strike (in Grodno - 1200). In Grodno, Bialystok, Brest-Litovsk, pots, Skidel Big Berestovitsa, Volkovysk, Slonim, and other cities and towns province stopped the factories, shops, closed shops, shops.
For example, the strike of solidarity with the St. Petersburg workers in the town of Grodno County Krynki 17-19 January 1905 it was prepared by the organization of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania and the Social-Democratic Committee of the Bund. Strikers all 46 tanneries town. Before working disarmed all the local authorities, captured by administrative agencies, the police broke up and destroyed all the affairs of the parish councils and portraits of the king in all institutions, cut down telephone poles through Volkovysk, Sokolki, Bialystok, Grodno. Many of the strikers were armed with revolvers. Demonstrators (more than 2 thousand people) marched through the town singing revolutionary songs and slogans: "Down with the autocracy government!", "Long live the people's revolution," "Give us 8-hour working day". The rebels drove the whole day all borough. By order of the Governor in Krynki were introduced troops, who with great difficulty, suppressed the action of the workers [6, l.11-12; 3, s.459].
The summer and during the October All-Russia political strike in the Grodno province recorded 39 of the workers and peasants. In response to a mutiny on the Battleship Potemkin "were the soldiers of individual parts of Grodno and Brest-Litovsk garrisons. Under the pressure of revolutionary events of the autocracy government was forced to make some concessions. Published October 17, 1905 royal manifesto proclaimed the freedom of speech, assembly, and association and the inviolability of person, the convening of the Duma with legislative powers. For the most part recorded in the manifest of the rights and freedoms were declarative in nature and by the autocracy government was an attempt to divert the workers from revolutionary action.
For the workers the same period of the beginning of the revolution became the stage of their political "maturity" and the tsar's manifesto on Oct. 17, 1905 - prompted the establishment of organizations that defend their rights and interests - trade unions.
According to reports, in Prinemanskogo region already in 1898 appeared union tanners. It unites workers Bialystok and Krynok and tanners Smorgon and Oshmyan (located at that time within the province of Vilna). Predecessors of the trade unions is different factory, shop assembly, commissions, strike fund. Grodno province that had emerged in the XIX-XX centuries, various social welfare and professional societies. For example, Bialystok professional society welfare craft workers emerged in the late XIX century and numbered in its ranks about 300 people [5, l.225]. These societies not only have provided material assistance to the sick and temporarily not working members of society, but also put forward requirements on employers to improve working conditions, higher wages.
The autumn for the next wave of revolutionary upsurge, in Belarus and Grodno province did the first mass labor organizations, who have organized the workers. One of the first in the Grodno region, in October 1905 during the October general strike, political organization formed the All-Russia Union Railway Station Vaŭkavysk-central [4, l.37, 129 ob., 8, p.16].
The growing revolutionary movement in the country raised the question of armed insurrection. It began in Moscow on December 9, 1905. But in spite of the heroism and tenacity of the workers by 18 December was brutally suppressed. In Belarus, the Bolsheviks failed to organize an armed uprising. But political strikes and demonstrations were held in many Belarusian towns and villages.
Central Bureau of the All-Russia railway union and trade union committees of 29 railways have announced a December 7, 1905 All-Russia strike. One of the first responded to this call the railway station Vaŭkavysk-Central. It was set up a strike committee, headed by the engineer of Communications, Chief of the 3rd section of service road Polesskii railways, a member of the All-Russia Union of Railwaymen Yu Yu Vishnevsky At many key points of the railway has established local committees and offices. During the events of December, they seized the administrative power in some places the line and made orders in addition to the local railway authorities. Were suspended commercial office, which has not promulgated or shipment. All material values at the station guarded clothes watchmen appointed by the Committee. At some stations Polessian railroad trains were delayed, obstructed the administration of postal goods.
Committees and offices spread among the workers and employees, the public anti-government leaflets, flyers, organizing rallies and strikes to demand from the Public Roads Administration an 8-hour workday, higher wages, have called for the struggle to overthrow the existing social order.
The strike lasted until December 14, 1905. She was crushed by military force. December 20 leadership of the strike committee, as well as active participants in the strike: Mogul'skii, Krushevsky, Tikhonov, Romanovsky, shovels, Sidorsky, Tarchevsky and Shatinsky were arrested and brought to trial [9, s.390-391, 4, l.33, 288].
In Grodno, under the leadership of the Vilnius Group RSDLP, the Military Revolutionary Committee, the organization of the General Jewish Labor Union Bund from 12 to 16 December 1905 there was a city-wide political strike. At the same time in the city of 800 miners were on strike, all educational institutions. Strikes, demonstrations were held in Brest-Litovsk, Bialystok, villages Opole, Lyadovichi, youngest Kobrin district and other locations [1, p.34, 9, s.414-416 ,467-469].
In the span of the strike movement Grodno region was in the vanguard of Belarusian provinces. Of the 417 plants that were under the supervision of factory inspection, 270 were covered by the strikes, which involved 79.9 per cent of the workers. It was the highest among Belarusian provinces. In 1905, in Grodno province occurred on 30 strikes, 52 demonstrations, 126 rallies and demonstrations [9, s.651; 1, p.30-34].
After the defeat of the December armed uprising in Moscow under the pressure of imperial repression revolution receded. But in the last year of a revolutionary strike movement in Grodno region was covered by 28 companies. Grodno April 8 marked strikes workshops Kaufaksa J., E. Stein, G. Velina, bakeries Karlen. April 9 was a strike of workers tailor shop I. Lapidus (7 workers). But the performances are mostly had an economic focus.
Recent political strikes were held in the Grodno region to celebrate the May 1, 1907 They were organized in Zelve, Iŭie, Lida, Smorgon, Grodno. November 24 took strike of workers provincial printing. December 4 supported them working seven private printers. December 9 tobacco factory workers went on strike Shereshevsky (125 people), ironworks Fajngold (30), syrup plant (8 people), a candy factory (30 people), four printers (111 people), "Neman" bookbinding factory (111) 17, sartorius (65), and other strikes were organized to express sympathy to the members of the Social Democratic faction in the State Duma of the 2-nd convocation, on trial [2, p.74].
With the retreat of the revolution, the autocracy government intensified repression against workers and their organizations. Until the end of 1908 were defeated, many local organizations the All-Russia Railway Union in Grodno region. Surviving the trade union organizations had gone deep underground, or temporarily turned its activities. Hundreds of workers, trade unionists, members of the Social-democratic direction, the General Jewish Labor Union Bund Prinemanskogo region for their active participation in the events of 1905-1906 years of the revolution were fired, jailed and fortresses, sentenced to long terms of exile in Siberia and the Far North, suffered the death penalty.
Despite the large scale strikes of workers, the revolution was defeated. However, active participation in the revolution of workers acquire the Grodno region contributed their expertise to fight for their rights and freedom, solidarity with workers in other regions of the empire Russia, working with all sectors of society, organizations and parties.