[HCCN] Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. 1930 – 2010

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Tue Sep 14 18:56:15 EDT 2010

Friends, I have read a dozen obituaries of our beloved friend Lucius  
Walker, and not until this, penned by Tom Whitney of Let Cuba Live,  
have I found what I wanted to share with you. Lucius's death has come  
as a great shock to us; we were happy and privileged to have spent  
several weeks with him in Cuba this summer. Lucius has touched our  
lives in so many ways. With broken hearts, Peter and I, along with  
Tom and Alison Whitney, will drive to New York to attend his funeral  
on Friday. -- J.R.

Lucius leading the Pastors 21st Caravan, July 20, 2010

Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. 1930 – 2010

Let Cuba Live mourns the death September 7 of Rev. Lucius. Walker Jr,  
Executive Director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community  
Organization (IFCO) and Pastors for Peace, organizations he founded.

The message from Pastors for Peace said: “With immeasurable sadness  
we write to let you know of the passing of our beloved, heroic,  
prophetic leader Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. this morning.”

The loss of Reverend Walker is devastating to his friends, who are  
legion; to the Cuban people; and to lovers of peace and justice  
Lucius Walker was in the forefront of struggles against oppression in  
Haiti, South Africa, and sweatshops along the US-Mexican border, and  
years ago, against remnants of the Ku Klux Klan. He inspired Pastors  
for Peace and many more to reach out to victims of U.S. aggression in  
Honduras, Nicaragua, Chiapas, El Salvador, and Cuba.

“You are all Pastors,” he would say, practicing a “peoples'  
foreign policy.” His tools were solidarity, love and civil  
disobedience. Rev. Walker and the Pastors Peace Caravan were there in  
Cuba in 1992 and every year from then on. That was the year the U. S.  
government passed legislation aimed at finishing off the Cuban  
revolution, on the ropes after the fall of the Soviet Union.

"Cubans, in gratitude, have to say that we don't want to think of a  
world without Lucius Walker," according to the Granma newspaper  
there. While serving as Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations in the  
1990’s, Ricardo Alarcon, President of Cuba’s National Assembly,  
came to know Lucius Walker well. Alarcon writes, “Lucius was an  
example unsurpassed of solidarity and of loving thy neighbor. His  
life was an authentic realization of the true Christian spirit. Let  
the struggle continue and multiply until we’ve won a world of peace  
and brotherhood for all. Lucius will be with us every day.”

Alarcon recalls that “more than once” Lucius Walker asked him:  
“How do we live without Cuba. How do we go on and fight without the  
Cuban Revolution, without what Cuba means for us?” Reverend Lucius  
Walker served as Associate General Secretary of the National Council  
of Churches of Christ and, until he died, as Pastor of the Salvation  
Baptist Church in the Ft. Greene section of Brooklyn. Over a decade  
ago, he undertook a four day speaking tour in Maine. In 2001 before a  
large crowd in Monument Square in Portland, Lucius Walker spoke out  
against the anti-Cuba blockade. Three weeks later, he and Pastors for  
Peace colleagues joined over 100 Let Cuba Live supporters at the  
border station in Coburn Gore Maine, as we sent humanitarian aide to  
Cuba via Montreal – against the rules.

We say good-by very reluctantly to the man IFCO board chairman Rev.  
Thomas Smith describes as "that gentle storm.”
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