[HCCN] Fwd: HAVANA TIMES: Adios to Lucius Walker Jr. in Harlem

Judith Robbins judy at robbinsandrobbins.com
Sun Sep 19 20:00:14 EDT 2010

> Adios to Lucius Walker Jr. in Harlem
> By Bill Hackwell
> http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=29661
> 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  
> Honduras.
> 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  
> church.
> 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
> http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=29661
> __._,

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