NEW TIMES: How was your Rally for World Peace?
CUADRAS: It was supposed to be on June 4, but it didn’t take place because of the weather. We are postponing it to a date further down the road. It will probably be in August.
NEW TIMES: Who are you and what inspired you to organize this event?
CUADRAS: I’m a Cuesta student. I, along with three other students—another Cuesta student and two Cal Poly students—decided to organize this. It was an idea that emerged from us looking at the sexual attacks at Cal Poly. We saw all this stuff going on around us and thought: People in San Luis Obispo are supposed to be the happiest people in America, so why aren’t there a lot of peaceful movements or motivations out there to promote peaceful living instead of just happy living? We saw all of San Luis Obispo’s potential, with happy people and young ideas, and wondered why we haven’t seen something like this yet.
NEW TIMES: What is the goal you want to achieve?
CUADRAS: We decided to start this rally to show people that we have to start with inner, local peace, and then we can spread it to everyone else, not just in California or the United States, but have our voice heard by a lot of people in the world. There are a lot of people in SLO, and there is a lot of potential to do big things. For example, I compare it to Shell Beach on the first day of summer. There are thousands of people at that beach, all having a good time. There’s potential to have as many of those people or more at a peace rally. I’m pretty sure most of the people I’ve met here are against war and for peace, so we just wanted to put it into an organized event.
NEW TIMES: Who else is involved?
CUADRAS: Other organizations were a little skeptical about helping us because they weren’t sure who they were helping. We aren’t an official organization, we aren’t not a nonprofit, we’re just people who are trying to start a gathering. Organizations asked us, “Okay, but who’s going to pay for it? Where is the money coming from?” But for us, there’s no money involved, and some organizations couldn’t believe that. We are just students trying to get people together to march for peace. Mothers for Peace, Veterans for Peace, and an organization called Everyday Gandhi will all be involved and supporting us.
NEW TIMES: Who is your personal role model or favorite advocate for peace?
CUADRAS: My favorite figure would be Ernesto Che Guevara. He is pretty much my favorite or my most memorable figure for peace because he researched the places he was going to help achieve peace before he even tried to do it. He went into culture and interpersonal relationships with the people he was going to try to help. He wasn’t doing it to just try to become known or famous, and that’s what we’re trying to do. Were not just trying to put our own names out there, we’re just a group of students trying to get more people to think about peace the way we do. ∆