May Day Manifesto

This May Day Manifesto called the people of Berlin to the May Day Demonstration of 1916. Liebknecht was sentenced to jail for expressions in his May Day Speech.

“Poverty and misery, need and starvation, are ruling in Germany, Belgium, Poland and Servia, whose blood the vampire of imperialism is sucking and which resemble vast cemeteries. The entire world, the much-praised European civilization, is falling into ruins through the anarchy which has been let loose by the world war.

“Those who profit from the war want war with the United States. Tomorrow, perhaps, they may order us to aim lethal weapons against new groups of brethren, against our fellow-workers in the United States, and fight America, too. Consider well this fact: As long as the German people does not arise and use force directed by its own will, the assassination of the people will continue. Let thousands of voices shout ‘Down with the shameless extermination of nations! Down with those responsible for these crimes!’ Our enemy is not the English, French, nor Russian people, but the great German landed proprietors, the German capitalists and their executive committee.

“Forward, let us fight the government; let us fight these mortal enemies of all freedom. Let us fight for everything which means the future triumph of the working-classes, the future of humanity and civilization.

“Workers, comrades, and you, women of the people, let not this festival of May, the second during the war, pass without protest against the imperialist slaughter. On the first of May let millions of voices cry, ‘Down with the shameful crime of the extermination of peoples! Down with those responsible for the war!’ ”

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