A Wisconsin woman accepting a social justice award on behalf of her late husband used the opportunity to apparently dress down nearby Gov. Scott Walker (R), saying that anyone who tries to limit union rights is "not in the tradition of Martin Luther King."
Walker, who famously and controversially rolled back the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin state workers in 2011, was seated just a few feet away from Margaret Rozga when she delivered her remarks at the state capitol on Monday. Rozga was accepting the MLK 2013 Heritage Award for her husband, Father James Groppi, a Catholic priest and social activist who died in 1985. (His marriage to Rozga led to his excommunication from the church, according to the book "Wisconsin Heroes.")
"As a person who remembers that Martin Luther King was killed while he was working to organize sanitation workers, I know that anyone who works to curtail union rights is not in the tradition of Martin Luther King," Rozga said. (Video above from the Cap Times.)
Rozga did not directly address Walker by name.
In her remarks, Rozga also addressed the need to protect voting rights and natural resources. In November, Walker called for a repeal of the state's same-day voter registration law, a move that Democrats said was politically motivated voter suppression. After a firestorm of criticism, Walker backed off the plan.
"As a person who got her start in the Civil Rights Movement by volunteering to work on Southern Christian Leadership voter registration campaigns in Alabama, I know that those who [propose] any curtailment of voting rights are not in the tradition of Martin Luther King," Rozga said.
Noting that, in addition to having been a priest, her husband was a bus driver and president of an Amalgamated Transit Union local, Rozga voiced her support for a number of labor-friendly groups, including the Milwaukee workers at Palermo's Pizza who've gone on strike over working conditions.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, some protesters booed and turned their backs on Walker when he presented a proclamation in honor of King.
h/t We Party Patriots and the State Journal