Kronstadt's slogans were straightforward. They led to the realization of democracy. The truth is, that the people of Kronstadt pictured the achievement of this democratic ideal by degrees, by way of new elections to the soviets, and Russia's liberation from the Communist yoke in that image. And when, after the fall of Kronstadt, a staff member of a socialist newspaper ["Zritel," No 196, p. 2] asked members of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee why the Constituent Assembly was not among Kronstadt's slogans, "Ha ha ha," answered almost all of those present. "It's like this; if there are elections to the Uchredilka [slang, Constituent Assembly], then that naturally means there will be 'lists.' It can't be otherwise."
"And once you have lists, that means 'Communists.'"
"If there are lists, then the Communists will certainly push their own through."
"But of course you can have secret balloting," I noted.
"Ha ha ha..." my interviewees again broke out laughing.
"In three and a half years we didn't see a white bread bun or a secret ballot. They just promised us all that. In fact, they didn't give a thing."
"We want to throw the Communists out. We want the Soviets to be elected by secret ballot in every region. The people on the spot know themselves who should be elected and who shouldn't. With Soviets in the localities it's possible to avoid those machinations which the Bolsheviks currently perform on most elections."
For three years, by the use of "lists," the Bolsheviks succeeded in thus perverting the very idea of free elections. Such public voting under threat of bayonets, for lists of official, ruling Communist party candidates, unknown even to the voters, brought the workers naturally to an idea. They were convinced that new elections to the Soviets, held universally, beginning with the villages, and the winning of the Soviets away from the Communists, was the first expedient step up in the struggle for complete democracy. They feared that otherwise, with Communist domination in the Soviets, even the Constituent Assembly, elected by Communist methods, would be not a constituent assembly, but a new variety of commissarocracy...
The main slogan was the demand for "freely elected Soviets." However, the best of all Kronstadt's slogans may be judged by those printed in the banner headings of 'Izvestiia of the Prov. Rev. Com.' during those combative days. "Trotsky's First Shot is a Communist SOS," is printed in huge letters across the entire width of the front page of Izvestiia No 6, and on the opposite side, "Soviet Power Will Free the Laboring Peasantry From the Communist Yoke."
"A Bomb Thrown at Kronstadt is a Signal For Uprising in the Communist Camp," and "The Communist Throne Has Begun to Tremble," read the banner headlines in No 8 of Izvestiia.
"All Power to Soviets, and Not Parties," "Down With Counterrevolution of the Left and Right," and "Long Live Red Kronstadt and the Power of Free Soviets;" these are typical calls from No 9 of Izvestiia.