September 2010, Week 2


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Thu, 9 Sep 2010 23:04:15 -0400
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Tidbits - September 9, 2010

* Re: Review: The Scottsboro Boys @ The Guthrie Theater
* Lucius Walker Presente!
  1. We Do Not Want to Think of a World without Lucius
  2. Cuban Vice President Highlights Lucius Walker's
  3. Funeral Services Announced by IFCO/Pastors for Peace
* Irwin Silber - R.I.P.
* Building Bridges: March on Washington - One Nation Working


* Re: Review: The Scottsboro Boys @ The Guthrie Theater

The show is absolutely brilliant.  I saw it in its first
brief NY run and haven't cried so much at a Broadway show in
ages. In the May 12, 1934 Daily Worker, George Maynard
called Charles Aborn's and Elie Siegmeister's song, "The
Scottsboro Boys Shall Not Die," "unquestionably the best
mass song the American movement has produced so far."  Few
remember that song today, but the story is still compelling
- like that of many "show trials" - and this show should be
seen by everyone.

-Leonard J. Lehrman,
Co-Founder, The Elie Siegmeister Society
Corresponding Secretary, The National Committee to Reopen
the Rosenberg Case


Lucius Walker 1930-2010

1. We Do Not Want to Think of a World without Lucius Walker
2. Cuban Vice President Highlights Lucius Walker's Humanism
3. Funeral Services Announced by IFCO/Pastors for Peace

Granma International (Havana)
September 8, 2010

We Do Not Want to Think of a World without Lucius Walker

by Aida Calviac Mora

The irony of the blow has shaken us all: when the threat of
nuclear war hovers over our heads, one of the irreplaceable
men of peace has left us, after 80 years of sincere example.
The death has taken place of Lucius Walker, the U.S.
reverend who, close to 20 years ago, took up an
uncompromising struggle against the obstinate and cruel
policy of his country's government in relation to Cuba.

Armed with faith and resistance, anchored to noble causes
and social justice, Lucius arrived in this country in spite
of the detentions and blows from those who have always
feared Cuban realities being revealed and divulged.

Prior to that, he left his mark of solidarity on liberation
movements in Africa, on support missions to patriots in
Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola... Then in Central
America, particularly in El Salvador and Nicaragua. This
last destination, as he said on many occasions, inspired the
emergence of the Interreligious Foundation for Community
Organization (IFCO)/Pastors for Peace.

"On August 2, 1988, my daughter Gail and I were among 200
civilians on a boat on the River Escondido in Nicaragua
which was viciously attacked by the contras. Two Nicaraguans
died and 49 passengers were wounded. That night in the
hospital, while I was being treated for a bullet wound, I
prayed to God seeking spiritual guidance to find an
appropriate response to that act of terrorism. The
inspiration that God gave me was to create Pastors for Peace
to take caravans of material aid to the victims of U.S.

Finally, this island captured his attention. In 1991, during
a time of a deluge of lies about the Revolution, countdowns
and apocalyptic predictions, a conversation in Havana with
the Reverend Ra£l Suarez, director of the Martin Luther King
Center, sparked an idea.

In an interview given to Granma the following year, Walker
stated, "At first we thought that our task ought to be
sending caravans like we did to Central America. But ,
observing the situation more closely, we came to the
conclusion that Cuba's most urgent problems did not need
much help from us, except for breaking the blockade. We
realized that Cuba did not need the same kind of help as
other countries, because even with the blockade, it had the
capability and strength to provide for itself. Our
leadership analyzed the situation and decided that our
contribution would be to fight to end the blockade."

In 1992 the news that a group of religious people had toured
several American states in and organized a fleet of 45
vehicles in which to send medicines, school supplies, and
food to Cuba, an action considered by the U.S. authorities
to be an insult more than an act of "civil disobedience."

The pilgrimage through at least 90 cities would reach its
tensest moment when the caravan reached Laredo, Texas with
15 tons of humanitarian aid to be transported through
Mexico. The [U.S.] government demanded an "export license;"
however the Reverend had declared during the tour: "We are
not asking Washington for permission to carry cargo, because
that would be to recognize the legality of the blockade and
the right of the state to intervene in a mission of the

Neither intimidating warnings nor manhandling by more than
one agent of the Treasury Department or Customs had any

Lucius Walker's men and women, following their leader's
determination, held fast in their will to take everything
across the border into Mexico and not just the part allowed
by U.S. legislation, knowing that the violation of the
blockade could cost them fines of up to $250,000 and 10
years' incarceration, risks that they decided to take.

Some members of the caravan crossed the border on foot,
carrying over to the Mexican side those products which the
regulations did not consider humanitarian aid. Among them, a
wheelchair which Lucius, the first to cross, carried with a
sign demanding: "Let Cuba live. Lift the embargo."

That first step across the border bridge led to his
detention for 10 hours, but the die was already cast.

1993 was the year of the second caravan, and the obstacles,
far from diminishing, once again tested his firmness and
stand as a man of faith.

This time the customs agents confiscated a little yellow
school bus on the strange pretext that it might be used to
transport Cuban troops, and several members of the caravan
responded with a prolonged fast, despite high temperatures
in Laredo - more than 100 degrees - making their hunger
strike more dangerous. Lucius Walker was once again the
moral guide and example. The letter that he sent to
President William Clinton, written on the thirteenth day of
the fast, confirmed that: "Our determination to continue
defending the rights of the poor and the dispossessed to
receive religious and medical aid, without interference from
the government, is not negotiable."

The yellow bus, liberated after 22 days of hunger strike,
became a symbol of the combative spirit of the Reverend who,
a few years later in 1996, led a similar fast for more than
90 days to demand the return of 395 computers taken by force
from Caravan members.

Lucius was awarded the Carlos J. Finlay Order for the
contribution of that equipment to modernize our health
system; an honor bestowed on him by Comandante en Jefe Fidel
Castro, who declared on that occasion, "Ethics, moral values
and faith cannot be destroyed."

Moreover, Cuba awarded Reverend Walker the Order of
Solidarity and the Medal of Friendship to his organization
as a sign of respect and admiration for their continuous
support of the island.

In addition to the Friendshipment Caravans, in the wake of
Fidel's humanitarian initiative to make it possible for
youth from this continent and other nations to study at
Havana's Latin American School of Medicine, more than 100
youth from the poorest neighborhoods in the United States -
under the coordination of Lucius Walker - are training to
become doctors in Cuba and a number of them have already

More than 20 caravans have reached this land with their
moral and material cargoes, and Pastors for Peace - which
reflects in good measure the composition of the U.S.
population - has contributed to introducing into the social
psychology of part of that population the need to fight the
blockade and for both countries to find a constructive
rapprochement. According to its leader, "Whatever we do is,
in the first place, a response to the love which Cuba has
given to the world. Our solidarity is based on the
importance of maintaining her example. I would not want to
think of a world without Cuba."

In gratitude, we Cubans would have to say that we do not
want to think of a world without Lucius Walker.


Cuban Vice President Highlights Lucius Walker's Humanism

Granma International (Havana)
September 9, 2010

Cuban Vice President Highlights Lucius Walker's Humanism

by Miguel Fern ndez Mart¡nez

Esteban Lazo Hern ndez, vice president of the Council of
State, signed in this capital the book of condolences for
the death of Reverend Lucius Walker, leader of the Pastors
for Peace solidarity movement.

During an official and simple ceremony at the headquarters
of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples
(ICAP), the likewise member of the Political Bureau of the
Communist Party recalled the immense moral stature of the
close friend of the island who died on Tuesday in New York.

"I knew Lucius as a great fighter," affirmed Lazo Hern ndez,
"as a friend of Cuba and of Fidel. We knew him as a man who,
in practice, expressed the true sentiment of how to break
the blockade imposed by the United States on the island."

The Cuban vice president described the U.S. religious leader
as a very humane man, a true fighter for peace and most of
all, very courageous and unswerving with respect to just
ideas in defense of human beings.

Caridad Diego Bello, head of the Religious Affairs Office of
the Central Committee of the Party, stated that Lucius
Walker was a likeable, solidarity-driven and radical man in
his way of thinking.

"He fought so hard for peace; something that is so necessary
for the world at this current time."

Also present were Jorge Mart¡ Mart¡nez, head of the
International Relations Department of the Central Committee
of the Party; Enrique Rom n, first vice president of ICAP;
and other state and government officials, together with the
Cuban people who were already lining up to leave their

The book of condolences will be open today (Thursday) from
9am until 12 midday and from 2pm until 5pm, at the ICAP
building on 17th Street and I, Vedado, in Plaza de la
Revoluci¢n municipality. (AIN)


Funeral Services Announced by IFCO/Pastors for Peace

IFCO/Pastors for Peace
September 8, 2010

Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. August 3, 1930 - September 7, 2010

Dear Friends,

Thank you for all of the expressions of love and solidarity.

Funeral services for Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, September 17, 2010 at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to IFCO or Salvation Baptist Church and sent to IFCO, 418 W. 145th St. New York, NY 10031 or via the IFCO website.

Convent Avenue Baptist Church is located at 420 W 145th Street | New York, N.Y. 10031


* Irwin Silber - R.I.P.

Irwin Silber, long-time editor of Sing Out! magazine, and
later the National Guardian and Guardian weekly newspaper
died September 8, 2010.  Portside will publish a more
detailed obituary and remembrance in the next few days.


Building Bridges: March on Washington - One Nation Working Together 

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report -                                    National Edition (Produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg)


One Nation Working Together
. Arlene Holt Baker, Executive Vice President, AFL-CIO
. George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU
This October 2nd, triggered by the AFL-CIO, SEIU Local 1199
and the NAACP, now joined by hundreds of organizations we're
headed, to a mass demonstration in Washington D.C. to demand
the jobs to put people to work, and back to work. Jobs,
economic security, comprehensive immigration reform, safe
and renewable energy policy and a reversal of national
priorities from making wars to meeting human needs - that's
the message!  We're going to march to demand the change we
voted for when Barack Obama was elected. That's right -
create jobs and stop moving money out of education and into
wars and prisons.  Plus sound from Wall Street Jobs Rally
and interviews with 99's who have exhausted unemployment


To Download or listen to this 28 minute program
go to our website

Building Bridges is regularly broadcast live over WBAI,
99.5 FM in the N.Y.C Metropolitan area on Mondays from
7-8pm EST and is streamed, archived and pod cast at
www.wbai.org                                                                             . 
Building Bridges National Edition is regularly broadcast

             KOWA          Olympia Washington
             CKUW          Manitoba, Canada
             WHUS          Storrs, CT
             WMNF HD FM    Tampa, Florida
             WPVM MAIN-FM  Asheville, NC
             WERU          Blue Hill and Bangor, Maine
             WGOT          Gainesville, FL a.
             WUOW          Oneonta, N.Y.
             WWUH          West Hartford, CT
             WVJW          Benwood, WV
             KRFP          Moscow, ID
             KCSB          Santa Barbara, CA
             WXOJ          Northampton, MA
             KSOW          Cottage Grove, OR
             WKNH          Keene, NH
             CKDU          Halifax, N.S. Canada
             KRFC          Ft Collins, Colorado
             WRPI          Troy, New York
             WNRB          Wausau, WI
             KRBS          Oroville, CA
             WHLD          Buffalo, NY
             Free Radio Olympia  Olympia,WA
             KQRP          Salida, California
             East Hill Radio     Snoqualmie, WA
             KSKQ          Ashland, Oregon
             KWMD         Kasiloff-Anchorage AK
             WPRR          Grand Rapids, Mich
             WCRS          Columbus, Ohio
             WSLU          St. Leo, Florida

             as well as internet stations:

                         Radio Free Kansas
                         Radio Veronica, West Point, PA
                         The Journey Radio
                         Seattle Radical Radio
                         Radio for Peace International
                         Radio Labourstart
                         Grateful Dread Public Radio
                         Detour Network, Knoxville, TN

            For  archived Building Bridges National Programs
            go to our website:




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