Declaration of Independence For Dr. Timothy Leary (July 4, 1971): Model Statement in defense of the philosophers personal freedom proposed by San Francisco Bay Area Prose Poets' Phalanx.
SF: privately printed, July 1971 (cover sheet states: “For 6 P.M. EDT Release Wednesday July 14, 1971, Bastille Day!”). Nine quarto sheets printed recto only, stapled in upper left corner.
A polemical statement written (in fact, dictated) anonymously by Ginsberg in his ultimately successful attempt to free Leary from prison in Switzerland and gain him safe political asylum.
The last page prints the names of 25 of the statement's sponsors (named ‘San Francisco Bay Area Prose Poets’ Phalanx’ by Ginsberg). As well as Ginsberg, these include Ken Kesey, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Robert Creeley, Lenore Kandel, Anaïs Nin, Diane di Prima, Ted Berrigan, Paul Krassner and Laura Huxley.
An important document in which Ginsberg accuses the “long-corrupted American Narcotics Bureau” of persecuting “artist-persons and 'underground' newspapers in many countries on pretexts of possession of small amounts of hemp grass for motives ranging from political hostility to culture shock”, citing as examples himself, William Burroughs, the Chicago Conspiracy Trial defendants, and John Sinclair, among others.
Printed at City Lights (though not stated), and one of several variants (the first is believed to print a list of seven names and features Ginsberg's signature in facsimile). Number of copies printed not known. Minor handling wear only.
Together with: Original press release, headed: “Bay Area Writers Appeal to Swiss Government for Leary Political Asylum. Statement Signed by Kesey, Ferlinghetti and Others Calls Leary Fellow Author Without Country”. Two quarto photocopied sheets, stapled at top left corner. The word ‘Leary’ has been circled in blue biro by Ralph Gleason. Paper age-toned, o/w Very Good plus.