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Russian Communists Commemorate Bolshevik Revolution

A rehearsal for the 7 November parade on Red Square (AFP) 7 November 2004 -- Communists in Russia today commemorate the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, which is an official working day today for the first time in decades.

The 7 November, renamed Day of Reconciliation and Accord after the Soviet collapse, was replaced for the first time this year with People's Unity Day, a 4 November holiday marking Russians' victory over Polish intervention in 1612.

The Russian Communist Party, which denounced the repeal of the 7 November holiday, said they expect thousands of their supporters to join a rally planned later today in Moscow. Russian media reported about 2,500 people rallied in the Pacific Coast city of Vladivostok and that smaller rallies were held in several other cities.

Earlier today, veterans, soldiers, and cadets marched on Moscow's Red Square to mark the anniversary of a parade of Soviet troops heading off to the front in 1941.