Lewis Lubka was married three times
He had no children with Thelma Bun.
Life of activism
There was hardly a demonstration in Fargo, ND where you wouldn’t see Lewis Lubka. In fact, Mark Froemke of The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union told People’s World, “If Lew wasn’t there, the first question you’d ask was ‘Where’s Lew’?”
Long-time activist and Fargo resident Lewis Lubka died, January 2017 at the age of 90.
Lew Lubka was born on July 14, 1926 in the Bronx and was a graduate of Stuyvesant High School in New York.
Called “Red Lew” by his friends because of his lifelong membership in the Communist Party USA, Lew served as an Army paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division during World War II. In civilian life, Lew obtained a bachelor’s degree in forestry at Syracuse University and earned his master’s degree in urban housing from Georgia Tech.
Friend Dean Hulse described Lubka in an open letter as having an “unvarnished style” and “limitless curiosity.”
“As our friendship developed, Lew taught me many things about living and about myself. For instance, he taught me to relish diversity, and likewise, rejoice in common bonds,” wrote Hulse.
Lew was intimately involved with the struggle of the Wade family in Louisville, KY for fair housing. After Anne Braden and Carl Braden purchased a home for the African American family in white area of Louisville in 1954, the Wades faced targeted attacks and vandalism by white supremacists.
Lew was one of the white activists who acted as an armed guard at the home.
“I was in the back kitchen with a gun. And when we were shot at, we shot back. I was working days and helping guard the house at nights,” said Lubka in the documentary Anne Braden: Southern Patriot.
Lubka was there when dynamite placed by white supremacists went off under the room of the Wades’ young daughter Rosemary’s room. No one was hurt in the attack.
As a result of his civil rights activities and his membership in the Communist Party, state prosecutors determined that the bombing was a part of a communist plot to incite racial division. Lew and four others were indicted for “criminal syndicalism and sedition” against the governments of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Lew Lubka was eventually acquitted.
Lubka was one of the founders of the North Dakota Peace Council, which he helped win a nuclear freeze referendum in North Dakota in 1982. Years later, the North Dakota Peace Council would honor him with an award for his distinguished service.
Lewis Lubka dedicated his life to progressive causes including the anti-war movement, the struggle for equal rights during the civil rights movement, and environmental protection. He was also a member of the Red River Freethinkers, a secular group that fought against the display of the Ten Commandments in public space.
He hosted a popular radio show called Peace Talk Radio on KNDS 96.3 FM in Fargo after his retirement from North Dakota State University where he taught urban and regional planning.
Lois Chikwinya, a former student of Lubka and friend for over 40 years, said that Lubka was a friend to all students, particularly the international students.
“He would travel to visit students across the world, he traveled to see me in South Africa. He was very much involved with anti-apartheid struggles,” said Chikwinya, “Lew never saw the color, he always saw the person. He helped all students achieve their goals.
Wade Defense Committee
In 1954 , a week before the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, Anne Braden and Carl Braden bought a house in an all-white neighborhood for a black couple, Andrew and Charlotte Wade, who were unable to purchase it due to racial restrictions in real estate. This act resulted in mob violence against the Wades and bombing of the house. Anne recounts: The Prosecuting Attorney said there were two theories. One was that the house was bombed by the neighbors to get rid of the Wades. The other was that this was all a communist plot to foment race hatred in order to overthrow the government of the state of Kentucky. Lew Lubka, a member of the Wade Defense Committee, recalls being pulled before the Grand Jury and asked, out of the blue, "Were you ever or are you now a member of the Communist Party?"
WEB DuBois Clubs of America
New American Movement
Hands off Venezuela!
In May 2005 Hands off Venezuela! circulated an internet petition: "from American trade unionists and workers to the appeal to the U.S. government to stay out of Venezuela." Lewis Lubka, retired college professor, member of the North Dakota Higher Education Association, and retired member of the NEA endorsed the petition.
Communist Party USA
Aaron Moss, Alan Donohue, Andre Brochu, Annie Fox, Barbara Samuelson, Barbara Collins, Barry Weinstein, Carol Sorflaten, C.T. Weber, Delmer Berg, Dorothy Kohl, Doug Smiley, Earl Harju, Emile Schepers, Everett Hoagland, Fay Bussell, Gregory King, Jack Bussell, James Thompson, Jerome Moss, Joe Bernick, John Falchi, John Smith, June Dennis, Karl Dennis , Karl Sorg, Karl Weichinger, Lee Dlugin, Lewis Lubka, Mark Jordan, Michele Artt, Pat Barile, Raymond Tate and Robert Jastad
- States along the northern edge of the country and in the plains, like Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Alaska, Utah, and Idaho with few voters of color and with large participation by women, fell easily to Obama. Lew Lubka, a North Dakota caucus participant described the scene in his precinct as exuberant for Obama with more participation than in the last caucus. According to Lubka, "The key feeling that I was able to sense from the conversations was the folks wanted change. Enough of the horror of the past two terms. New directions, new blood, new politics. Maybe even peace."
Lubka wrote on the PA Editor's Blog February 6 2008;
- I was at the Fargo, ND Democratic NPL caucus tonight. About 500 more voted in the caucus this year then the last caucus four years ago. Obama outdid Hilary by about 500 votes...
- The key feeling that I was able to sense from the conversations was the folks wanted CHANGE!! Enough of the horror of the past two terms. New directions, new blood, new politics. Maybe even PEACE!!
Fasting against “Star Wars”
In 2008, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space promoted a June 22 “Global day of fasting to Stop Star Wars”.
- The global day of fasting to Stop Star Wars on June 22 is one important way for the public to become involved in this debate. All over the world the U.S. is dragging the "allies" into Star Wars and active resistance to the insanity of an arms race in space is growing.
- The American Communist photodocumentary by Gokan Cukurova,2016
- PW, Lewis Lubka, 90: North Dakota peace activist and communist January 31, 2017 1:03 PM CST BY PATRICK J. FOOTE
- FB friends page
- undated NAM contacts list Tarzynski papers Southern California Library for Social Change
- We salute the labor movement!, People's World, September 1, 2006
- Organizing Notes blog: STAR WARS OR SOCIAL PROGRESS - YOU DECIDE, June 21, 2008 (accessed on April 21, 2010)