Chaplin, together with a number of fellow prisoners who were sentenced at the same time, was accused of taking part in a conspiracy with intent to obstruct the prosecution of the war. To be sure the Government did not produce a single witness to show that the war had been obstructed by their activities; but it was argued that the agitation which they had carried on by means of speeches, articles, pamphlets, meetings and organizing campaigns, would quite naturally hamper the country in its war work. On the face of their indictments these men were accused of interfering with the conduct of the war; in reality they were sent to jail because they held and expressed certain beliefs. -- From the introduction by Scott Nearing.
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