Fernando Vega presents César’s Peaceful Revolution
April 18, 2017
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César Chávez and the motto of the United Farm Workers, “Sí se puede” are held in high regard at CSUSM, a performance of Fernando Vega’s, César’s Peaceful Revolution naturally attracted many students and plenty of faculty to Arts 111 on March 28.
A San Diego native, Vega performed in numerous plays such as Oz, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and An American Christmas. On top of his acting credentials, he holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and is a member of the Actors Equity Association.
Directed and performed by Vega, César’s Peaceful Revolution portrays the life and times of César Chávez. The play covers Chávez’s journey as an activist through the use of re-enacted historic public speeches and interviews.
A large part of the play focuses on Chávez and his endeavor to implement non-violence within his activist movement. On the topic of non-violence, Vega said, “You can’t have anything in between! It doesn’t work that way, according to Chávez. Fortunately, non-violence is also working in many places.”
Depicted in Vega’s play was Fred Ross, the founder of the Community Service Organization (CSO). When Chávez was a part of the CSO, Ross worked closely with his efforts in activism.
Further discussing Ross and his work, Vega said, “Think about his list of accomplishments, 500,000 Hispanics registered to vote, 50,000 Mexican immigrants obtaining citizenship, resisting police brutality and resisting urban removal. It was the CSO that started it all.”
Vega additionally went into detail about Chávez’s 36-day fast which was done in hopes that the United Farm Workers would continue and violence would not be used.
Vega went over how some fellow organizers and people had a problem with the fast. “Some of the east coast or mid-west union leaders thought this (the fast) had no place in labor, ‘this is a social movement, who does this guy think he is?’”
Vega’s performance came at a rather significant time on campus, as CSUSM hosted other Chávez based events such as guest lectures, panel discussions and the César Chávez day of service on March 31.