Banished Russian Duma Calls for Tax Resistance from Finland

A few more bits from the archives concerning Russia during the Vyborg Manifesto period:

Refuse to Pay Tax.

By Associated Press.

 In consequence of the unanimous and unalterable refusal of the peasants in the Odessa district to pay tax the local zemestvo has been advised by the government that it is impossible to maintain schools and hospitals which must be closed.

Russian Peasants Refuse to Pay Tax.

It is Said Fully 50,000 Have Joined in the Movement.
Trouble is Feared.

 A determined attempt by the peasants of Kutauis province, Transcaucasia, to live up to the programme outlined by the Viborg convention of deputies after the dissolution of the douma, of refusing to pay taxes, has resulted in serious trouble. From all indications the situation is bound to become steadily worse and fears are entertained that a general massacre of peasants by soldiers will be the outcome.

Fully 50,000 peasants have joined in the movement not to give the government a kopec. Notice has been given by the government that if the peasants do not pay within two weeks troops will be sent into the district and they will be mercilessly shot down.

Without waiting for soldiers to put the threat of the government into execution the peasants have inaugurated a campaign of guerrilla warfare against troops. Tax collectors who have insisted upon the payment of money have been severely handled in several instances.

Within the last few days a number of military sentinels have been shot down in ambush or attacked by peasants. These murders have infuriated the troops, who have demanded that they be allowed to attack the peasants.

Already the situation is nearly as grave as it could be. If the government attempts to execute its threat of collecting taxes at the point of the bayonet the soldiers are almost certain to get out of hand and a general massacre will follow.

Replying to a deputation of municipal officials who complained of the violences daily committed by members of the League of Russian People against peaceful citizens, Jews and Christians alike, Governor General Kaulbars said he personally doubted whether it was possible or even desirable to attempt to suppress the exasperation of the loyal elements against the revolutionary students, who were guided exclusively by Jews.

The tone of Governor Kaulbar’s speech, which is regarded as an open expression of approval of the horrors of counter-revolution, has created much alarm.

Douma Members to Base Defense on Technicality

Alleged Traitors to Russia Will Urge That Crime Was Committed Outside Country.

 Trial of those members of the first Russian Douma who signed the Viborg manifesto was continued this morning. It had been expected that today would see the conclusion of the case, but owing to the decision of several of the defendants to plead their own cause the hearing will go over until . The final arguments will be brief and formal. The prosecutor will limit himself to summing up the illegal nature of the manifesto and the grave consequences which might have ensued had the people heeded its appeal to resist tax gatherers. The defense will make its strong point on technicalities, holding that the crime, if any, was committed outside the country, and that the government has failed to establish the individual responsibility of the defendants.