This site last updated March 30, 2012.
1969 Draft of Ginsberg Poem

Poem written by Allen at beginning of National WTR movement. Later made into poster for national distribution.

allen ginsberg letter to internal revenue service—1974

Internal Revenue Service Center
1040 Waverly Avenue
Holtsville, New York  11799

Dear Future Buddhas:

I can’t in good conscience pay you the complete income tax for 1973, forms returned herewith, which by your rules I am computed to owe. For your own sake and mine I am withholding one-third of my assessment, as part of nationwide War Tax Resistance, which should be encouraged among ourselves as citizens and future Buddhas. It may save some suffering in this world and as legend goes may save ourselves and others unimaginable suffering in future lifetimes, as each gesture we make affects sentient beings in the innumerable worlds that proceed from our own imagination.

As you already know one way or another, the entire Indochina War has always been illegal, an unconstitutional intervention and imperial aggression on suffering nations halfway around the world without full consent of either American citizenry or the populations we’ve covered with bombs and fear. Illegal secrecy was always characteristic of military and paramilitary operations from the mid ’fifties in Vietnam, Laos and elsewhere, and this outright unconstitutional secrecy of military operations extended itself to the secret bombings of Cambodia now known scandalously to the U.S. public. By 1974 we have spent more than $140 billion dollars on this breach of flesh and Law. Two million bodies have died, two million souls and bodies wounded, 13,000,000 persons driven homeless as refugees, vast areas of landmass lethecided and bomb-cratered irremediably for the next century. This vast atrocity to nature has always been a sort of Watergate Scandal on planetary scale.

Regardless of the future, government monies in the past have financed the creation of 800,000 new refugees in Indochina, half a hundred thousand violent deaths, half a hundred thousand wounded persons in Indochina in the last twelve month period for which I am assessed taxes. Thus the check I enclose withholds a third of my assessment, roughly computed as the same third or 100 billion military appropriation declared in the recent national budget of 300 billion dollars.

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