September 7, 2010
At 10:45 am on September 7, we were shocked by a message from our fraternal friends at IFCO/Pastors for Peace. We had to read it several times. How could it be possible that Rev. Lucius Walker had just died? We felt a profound sadness in not being able to say goodbye to him; a deep pain just to think that we will never again enjoy his presence, talk to him as friends and comrades, to embrace each other, to share a breakfast with peanut butter, “the food of the Gods” as he called it.
Just one week ago, Lucius had called us to propose a new project to reach out to the religious community in the US regarding the issue of humanitarian visas for Olga and Adriana, wives of Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, respectively. We were waiting for his call this week to continue the plans.
As we tried to comprehend the sad news, the first question that came to our minds was, how will we be able to fill the gaping hole in the struggle left by this indispensable person? Without the man that at the beginning of the nineties invigorated the Cuban solidarity movement by inviting us to participate in the Pastors for Peace caravans to challenge the criminal blockade against the island. Without the man who had not even a bit of apprehension to travel to a hostile Miami to participate in a demonstration demanding that Elian be sent home to his family. How could we continue struggling without the mentor, the person who advised us, the person who supported us in any new project, who spoke calmly but with the certainty of having justice on his side, the person who gave us the opportunity to grow? And how could we continue in the struggle without the man who knew how to create an immense network of solidarity friends of all types in every corner of the United States?
Lucius’ support to free the Cuban Five could be visibly seen on the multitude of yellow school buses that traveled through hundreds of US cities with the faces of Antonio, Rene, Ramón, Gerardo, and Fernando. In each event of each city where the Pastor for Peace caravan stopped, people became informed about the injustice of the case.
The tragic news of Lucius’ death has made its way to each one of the prisons where the Five are held, and they have asked us to extend to Lucius’ family and the great family of IFCO/Pastors for Peace their profound sympathies and eternal gratitude for all he has done in the struggle for their freedom.
The only way we can honor the memory of our beloved Lucius Walker will be to pick up his banner and to continue struggling for each of the causes for which he dedicated every single moment of his entire life.
Compañero Rev. Lucius Walker. Presente!