John Maclean was a passionate opponent of World War One. He spoke out against it from the start and soon found himself arrested under the Defence of the Realm Act.
His first prison sentence lasted less than a week but it led to him losing his teaching job at the end of 1915. The Govan School Board were wary of the agitator in their midst and were eager to find any reason to end his tenure.
Thereafter Maclean had to turn to teaching outside the formal school system. He taught instead at evening classes and with the Scottish Labour College.
But his protesting against the war in general -and conscription in particular- went on. And in February 1916 he was arrested again.
This time he was held briefly in Calton Jail before being transported to Peterhead where conditions were especially severe.
A massive campaign ensued for his release. Lloyd George had described Maclean as the "most dangerous man in Britain" but ironically enough Maclean was released the day after Lloyd George had been given the Freedom of the City of Glasgow.
Maclean was now drawing fresh inspiration from events in Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution showed how workers could win power and start to transform society.
The Bolsheviks for their part held Maclean in high esteem. So much so that Lenin, at the start of 1918, made Maclean the Soviet Consul for Scotland. Maclean took his role very seriously opening a consulate in Portland Street, Glasgow.
In April 1918 the police raided the premises. Maclean was arrested again under DORA and charged with sedition and with attempting to spread disaffection among the civilian population.
He was tried in Edinburgh and on 9 May 1918 made a legendary speech from the dock. " I consider capitalism the most infamous, bloody and evil system that mankind has ever witnessed" he said. He was not there "as the accused." Rather he was there as the "accuser of capitalism dripping with blood from head to foot."
The jury didn't bother to retire. The verdict was delivered right away via the foreman. He was guilty on all charges. As he was led away he merely turned to his supporters in the public gallery and said, "keep it going boys, keep it going."
This time he served seven months. However a hunger strike and forced feeding left him weak. Freed on 3 December, he was already an ill man.
However he had two more prison spells to endure. IN 1921 he got three months after preaching to miners about revolution. Then he got a year for telling the unemployed to steal food rather than starve.
Released in 1922, he had less than a year to live. He spent his last few months building up the Scottish Workers Republican Party and campaigning for Scottish independence.
Scotland's "wisest policy" was, he proclaimed, "to declare for a republic in Scotland so that the youth of Scotland will not be forced to die for England's markets."
A social revolution was "possible sooner in Scotland than in England." Plus Scottish separation was "part of the process of England's imperial disintegration and is a help towards the ultimate triumph of the workers of the world."
Maclean died on St Andrew's Day, 30 November 1923 from double pneumonia after collapsing at an open air meeting. He was a socialist fighter until the end.