Another day at the office

Federal Protective Service Commander Oscar Lott arrested anti-war protester Kate Kennedy on Monday at the Federal Courthouse on I Street, again.

Lott said Kennedy, along with nine other Sacramento Coalition to End the War members, was arrested at about noon for causing a disturbance in the 12th floor office of Congresswoman Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.

During the “die-in,” which began at about 11:15 a.m., protesters with eyes shut reclined on the hallway floor inside the office. The human obstruction forced staffers to step in a crisscrossed path from room to room. The group, which was composed mostly of people 50 and older, planned to stay until Matsui signed a declaration of peace, which included a commitment to vote against further war funding.

“The congresswoman has opposed the war from the beginning,” said Lauren Smith, Matsui’s communications director.

Matsui was in Washington, D.C., in committee and unavailable, her district director, Nathan Dietrich told the group after greeting several by name.

The protesters, who became familiar with the office after a 52-day sit-in that ended in March, insisted Dietrich fax their declaration to Matsui. Dietrich argued that he would have difficulty getting to the fax machine with the group in the way.

“All right, seriously guys, can we move to the lobby?” he asked.

The group didn’t budge. Federal police and other security officers gently handcuffed the protesters with nylon restraints and escorted them out of the office.

“Nice group. No problems. No resistance,” Lott said of Monday’s arrests. “We see each other on a regular basis, so it’s fine.”

Lott keeps a newspaper photo of an earlier arrest of Kennedy at a courthouse protest, which he believes took place at the beginning of the war in 2003, tacked to a bulletin board in his office.