Friday, June 10, 2022

Today -100: June 10, 1922: Of the business we call show trial

The trial of 12 members of the central committee of the Social Revolutionary party (SR) and 10 other members begins in Russia. This is considered the first of the Soviet show trials. It has been carefully planned for many months and authorized by Lenin before his stroke. The charges, including armed struggle against the Soviet state, conspiring to assassinate Lenin, Trotsky, et al,  and treason through contact with enemy foreign nations, derive from a penal code that went into effect June 1st, after the alleged crimes took place. Foreign Communists are present in the court on both the defense and prosecution sides (and let me say how disappointed I am with Clara Zetkin). Some of the former challenge the right of the court to sit at all.

Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, says the Supreme Court decision that the Sherman Anti-Trust Act can be used against unions is a denial of the right to strike, reestablishing “slavery and involuntary servitude, not for the black man alone, but for the white men and women of labor of the United States.” 

Judge Robert Street directs a verdict of misconduct against Jefferson County, Texas Sheriff Tom Garner and removes him from office for being a member of a criminal organization, the KKK, in contravention of his oath of office.

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