On March 8, International Women's day, women textile workers poured into the streets shouting "Bread!" Other Petrograd workers quickly joined and within two days over 200,000 strikers brought everyday life to a standstill. After being informed of the mounting chaos in the capital, Nicholas II telegraphed back that order should be restored. The city's military commander ordered police and troops to disperse demonstrators, shooting at them if necessary. But after some shooting, the key turning point occurred. Soldiers in one regiment after another refused to simply with orders and instead joined the demonstrators. After realizing he had lost control of Petrograd and the support of key military and political leaders, Nicholas II abdicated the throne on March 15.