[HCCN] Fwd: HAVANA TIMES: Adios to Lucius Walker Jr. in Harlem
judy at robbinsandrobbins.com
Sun Sep 19 20:00:14 EDT 2010
> Adios to Lucius Walker Jr. in Harlem
> By Bill Hackwell
> HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 18 - Funeral services for social crusader
> Reverend Lucius Walker Jr., 80, a longtime friend of Cuba, took
> place on Friday in the filled-to-capacity Covenant Baptist Church
> in Harlem.
> Hundreds of people came from all over the country to pay tribute to
> this extraordinary fighter for the rights of poor and working
> people, someone who stood firmly against many injustices committed
> by the US government at home and abroad.
> The cornerstone of his work over the last 20 years was his
> solidarity with Cuba practiced through the IFCO Pastors for Peace
> Cuba Friendshipment Caravans. There have been 21 US caravans to
> Cuba that have delivered more than 3,000 tons of humanitarian aid.
> However, Walker's rich history of struggle began during the civil
> rights movement, and it should also be noted that the Pastors for
> Peace organization has sent dozens of caravans to struggling,
> predominantly indigenous communities, in Chiapas, Nicaragua and
> Lucius' body was in a simple pine casket surrounded by many large
> floral arrangements, including one from the Cuba Mission to the UN
> and one personally from Fidel Castro.
> Those who came to bid farewell to him were a highly diverse group
> of different ages, races and religious beliefs. Most had worked
> with Lucius on at least one of the Pastors for Peace projects,
> including many who directly took part in the caravans. Present were
> the people who are the backbone of the caravans, the ones who drove
> the trucks and buses with aid, answered the phones, set up the
> meetings, those who carried bibles and bicycles with Lucius across
> the border on the first caravan to Cuba in 1992, as well as the
> people who fasted with him to get computers and yellow school buses
> released to Cuba. Participants of every caravan were there at the
> A man who had cooked meals for the caravans for years in the border
> town of McCallen Texas flew in from Los Angeles was present as were
> scores of religious leaders from different faiths as well as the
> entire spectrum of people that make up the progressive movement in
> the US. And of course the entire IFCO / Pastors for Peace staff
> were assembled sitting together in honor of their leader. Members
> of the congregation of the Salvation Baptist Church in Brooklyn,
> where Lucius preached every Sunday, also turned out in numbers.
> For the past 10 years, a special project of Lucius has been to
> recruit and support students from low-income US communities to
> study at the Havana-based Latin American School of Medicine.
> Currently there are 125 students from the US enrolled and 47 have
> graduated. Twenty of those graduates made their way to the funeral,
> including several who had just returned from working with Cuban
> medical teams in Haiti. They noted that Lucius had always urged
> them to be revolutionary doctors and to serve as active agents for
> social change.
> Ofelia Ortega, a Presbyterian theologian and co-president of the
> World Council of Churches, spoke on behalf of the Cuban people,
> thanking the Walker family for being such essential supporters of
> Lucius for so many years in his tireless and passionate work on
> Cuba. She delivered greetings from Raul and Fidel Castro, and
> especially from all the Cuban children who have enjoyed the
> benefits of the pastors for peace caravans. Ortega compared Lucius
> to Cuban national hero Jose Marti, who called upon people to wage a
> campaign of tenderness, which is what Lucius did in such an
> exemplary fashion.
> Also present at the funeral service was Cuban Ambassador to the UN,
> Pedro Nunez Mosquera; former US Attorney-General Ramsey Clark, New
> York City Councilman Charles Barron; the Nicaraguan Ambassador to
> the UN, Maria Eugenia Rubiales de Chamorro; Brian Becker, national
> coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition; Jane Franklin, a writer on
> Cuba affairs; and Alicia Jrapko, coordinator of the International
> Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five; as well as number of
> other personalities.
> see photos with article
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