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In a bar, a bunch of drunken factory workers are singing when a fight breaks out on the porch between a worker and a blacksmith.
The fight quickly turns into a melee of factory workers vs. blacksmiths. It's all fun and games until one guy is almost beaten to death.
The others grab the almost-murderer and decide to take him to the police. But of course, there are no police, so the crowd goes off towards Rastopchin’s office.
On the way, they pick up other people who are unhappy about something else that’s going wrong in town. The crowd swells, and they kind of forget about the original beating. The almost-murderer slips away, while the crowd is carried along to the governor’s house.
Along the way, they run into the police chief, who at first tries to menace them but is quickly overwhelmed and intimidated and rides off in his carriage.
The crowd runs after him, yelling complaints about being left behind after all the aristocrats and merchants have fled.