by Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The 35th Annual Philadelphia Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Luncheon drew area activists and lawmakers, including one who says he’s boycotting the Trump Inauguration on Friday.
The reason behind it: Georgia Congressman John Lewis.
“John Lewis stands with Dr. Martin Luther King in terms of standing for freedom, liberty, and justice,” said Freshman PA Congressman Dwight Evans.
Evans attended the Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Luncheon, just hours after he announced on Twitter that he would not attend Friday’s inauguration following a tweet from President Elect Donald Trump criticizing Lewis.
“I don’t think he understands John Lewis is a true patriot,” Evans said.
“John Lewis is one of the most respected members of Congress,” said Representative Bob Brady.
Brady says he will also boycott the inauguration. He says President-elect Trump missed an opportunity.
“All he had to do was say, ‘Congressman John Lewis, I’d like to see if we can work things out.’ I am sure John Lewis would have taken that call,” said Brady.
“John Lewis Literally bled for civil rights,” said Senator Bob Casey.
Casey gave fiery remarks criticizing Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He will attend the inauguration, but says the next four years will put Democrats to work.
“A lot of this will be holding him accountable,” said Casey.
Dr. Bill Tucker, Chair of the MLK Association for Non-Violence, told the luncheon crowd “we must remain vigilant” to ensure the voting rights fought for by John Lewis remain in tact.
“It’s not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of freedom,” said Tucker.