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A Nuclear Weapons Free World? History, Recent Developments, Future Prospects

When: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Harvard CGIS South Building • 1730 Cambridge St • Room S-050 • Cambridge

Lawrence Wittner will focus on the history of the world nuclear disarmament movement and its efficacy in curbing the nuclear arms race and preventing nuclear war.  Now that even former and current government officials have come around to supporting the creation of a nuclear weapons-free world, public pressure could provide the crucial factor in bringing it to fruition. Wittner is Professor of History emeritus at the State University of New York/Albany and author of the three-part The Struggle Against the Bomb, and an abbreviated version, Confronting the Bomb, which will be available for sale at the event. He serves on the national board of Peace Action, the largest grassroots peace organization in the United States.

Elaine ScarryElaine Scarry is the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University. Scarry is the author of eight books, most recently Thermonuclear Monarchy. In this book, she contends that nuclear weapons eliminate the citizenry and the legislature from the sphere of decision-making about war. She, therefore, believes that nuclear weapons are unconstitutional and a violation of the human social contract. She explains two provisions of the constitution that can be used by citizens to require the United States to disarm.

New Developments: The speakers will address the recently filed lawsuit by the Marshall Islands demanding that the 9 nuclear weapons states begin serious disarmament negotiations; the recent Nayarit conference and upcoming Vienna conference on the humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons; the results of the April 30-May 9 Preparatory Committee meeting of the Non-Proliferation Treaty; and the proposed Save Mother Earth/ Stop Militarism conference and protest at next year’s NPT Review Converence in New York.Sponsors: Massachusetts Peace Action and Democratic Socialists of America. Contact:, 617-354-2169

Mr. Wittner will also speak on May 14 at 12:30 pm at the Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy Seminar Series, MIT Building 26-414, the Kolker Room.

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