No 2 Nukes, Yes 2 Peace

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Global Zero brings anti-nuclear message to Cambridge

The recently-founded Boston regional chapter of Global Zero, an anti-nuclear weapons organization, held its first official event on Saturday, Sept. 26.

“No 2 Nukes, Yes 2 Peace,” Mary Popeo says of the event, “is a concert rally held in conjunction with Physicians for Social Responsibility and Peace action.”

Popeo, a recent graduate of Boston College, leads the local chapter, after visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki left her with a deep unsettlement with the importance of nuclear weapons in the current political climate. The organization as a whole is run almost exclusively by young adults, an aspect of which the organization is proud.

One of the primary goals of the organization, Popeo said, is to instill in young people a feeling that they can affect change in society. As has been the case for many years, the greatest barrier against nuclear disarmament is political will, she said.

Politicians, organizers explained, don’t want nuclear disarmament as part of their platform because it won’t get them elected, and they don’t care about it once in office because they don’t believe it will help keep them there until letters start to pour in from groups like the ones holding No 2 Nukes, Yes 2 Peace.

The greatest barrier against such actions being taken, says a guest at the event, is the feeling of powerlessness of the masses pervaded by the pro-nukes lobbyists.

In order for the culture of activism and political disgust to be made pervasive throughout our society, the organization employs numerous methods of rallying support including,  (but not limited to,) the creation of photo petitions, in which a person is photographed holding a sign saying that they support nuclear disarmament, lectures and school visits, or actual paper petitions, and events such as the one on Saturday.

In keeping with the philosophy of the organization to target young people, events are usually music-centric, though spoken word often plays a major role in proceedings, and No 2 Nukes, Yes 2 Peace did feature multiple speakers, including Elaine Scarry, a professor at Harvard and author of Thermonuclear Monarchy, Joseph Gerson, director of American Friends Service Committee’s Peace and Economic Security Program, and Max Tegmark, professor of physics at MIT.

Saturday's event was endorsed by American Friends Service Committee, in addition to Physicians for Social Responsibility and Massachusetts Peace Action.

For information on, or to get involved with, Global Zero, visit http://www.globalzero.org.