The Future Belongs to the People
ON June 28th, 1916, Karl Liebknecht was sentenced at secret trial to thirty months' penal servitude. When the public prosecutor asked for this secrecy, Liebknecht exclaimed:
"It is cowardice on your part, gentlemen. Yes, I repeat, that you are cowards if you close these doors."
Nevertheless, the court decided to exclude the public, upon which Liebknecht cried to his wife and Rosa Luxemburg, in the audience, "Leave this comedy, where everything, including even the decision, has been prepared beforehand."
Following the announcement of the sentence given Liebknecht, the Potsdamerplatz in Berlin was the scene of a serious outbreak.
The next day (according to reports from Switzerland) strikes of protest against the Liebknecht case took place in Berlin and some 55,000 persons were involved in them. In other cities strikes and demonstrations of protest also took place.
An appeal was taken but resulted only in an increase in the sentence to four years' and one month's imprisonment at hard labor. Furthermore, he was deprived of all his civil rights for a period of six years after he should have served his term.
PARIS, October 25. – An enormous crowd assembled before the Reichstag building in Berlin yesterday, calling for the abdication of Emperor William and the formation of a republic, according to a special dispatch from Zurich to L'Information.
Dr. Karl Liebknecht, the Socialist leader who has just been released from prison, was applauded frantically. He was compelled to enter a carriage filled with flowers from which he made a speech declaring that the time of the people had arrived.
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