As remembered by Curtis
September 9, 2010
Ode to Lucius Walker
It was about September 5, 2005. The place was New Orleans, Louisiana and some one brought me a small piece of paper with the words: "Rev. Lucius Walker is trying to reach you" and a phone number. I hurried to a phone and called. The voice on the other end (Rev. Walker himself) told me that six truckloads of food water and emergency clean up supplies were on the way south to New Orleans and they needed directions on where to go. He gave me numbers for the truck drivers and one of his staff persons who would be in charge of the caravan. Rev. Lucius Walker and the Pastors for Peace were responding to one of the most devastating storms in the history of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina: a storm that drowned 3,000 mainly poor, black people and displaced another 400,000 because of government racism.
This was the beginning of one of the most politically educative periods of my life. Rev. Walker and the Pastors for Peace family, in addition to continuing to bring truckloads of supplies to help those attempting to return and rebuild in New Orleans, began to expose us to their many contacts and networks. We made trips to Cuba where I shared our story and received a promise to help train our organizers, particularly as it regarded managing disasters and working with the poor. We visited Venezuela where we were able to conduct a workshop on our work and organizing method and present our charges of murder against the government of the USA. The USA was found guilty by a panel of distinguished international statesmen and women, including Rev. Walker. I sat with Castro, Chavez and the family of the Cuban Five in Cuba; I visited the Martin Luther King Church in Cuba. We visited the Cuban Mission in New York and the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. These and many other powerful meetings were arranged by Rev. Lucius Walker in his effort to get aid and support for the victims of government racism in New Orleans.
Rev. Lucius Walker was the world's most active internationalist of our time, always a great friend and supporter of the poor and oppressed. He has left a huge vacuum. It is now for us, the living, to increase our efforts to help the poor, free the Cuban five, take down the Cuban blockade and push harder for the liberation of oppressed people everywhere.
Long Live the Spirit of Lucius Walker!
International School for Bottom Up Organizing
Full Time Volunteer Organizing Instructor
As remembered by Gwen Patton
September 9, 2010
Thank you so much for letting me know that Rev. Walker is now dancing with our ancestors. Rev. Walker was a true and abiding friend of SNCC during our transition/transformation from simplistic social integration and dismantling of jim crow laws to a fundamental strategy to achieve cultural, political and economic collective inclusion in a society that purported to be pluralist and democratic. The road was/is not easy, but Rev. Walker was there and came through with concrete support on every level. We were blessed to have him as a voice at this critical moment in our struggle for collective self-identity and self-determination.
Sisterly, Gwen Patton
As remembered by Joanne Gavin
September 10, 2010
Thank you, Curtis, for that "ode".
I, too, have many lovely memories of Rev. Bro. Lucius. The Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravans to Cuba usually passed through Houston, where we welcomed (most always at the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center) and housed (in homes in the community) the caravanistas and used their presence and the collection of supplies and funds (Houston sent a school bus this year!) to educate the community at large about Cuba. Sometimes Texans joined the Caravan there for the trip through Mexico and on to Havana. Some times I accompanied the caravan to the border at El Paso or McAllen. I had adventures there with resistance to the petty stuff the U.S. border forces tried to pull and the way "pastors" dealt with those, and I enjoyed the attitude of "Pastors", who never requested a license for humanitarian shipments and who did "in your face" stuff like unpacking great big ol' satellite dishes, mounting them on flatbed trailers and taking them through the streets of El Paso and on through Mexico for all to see.
You gottta love "pastors" and especially their guiding spirit, Rev. Lucius.
Lucius Walker: Presente!!!!
Love and Solidarity,