No waiting around

Local activists aren’t sitting around waiting for Congressional Representative Doris Matsui to veto further funding for the Iraq war. They’re sitting in.

For the past week, the Sacramento Coalition to End the War has held a “peace in” at Matsui’s downtown Sacramento office, where a handful of protesters sit in chairs as others demonstrate in front of the Federal Courthouse.

"[Matsui] keeps acting like she cares about the troops and we don’t,” Coalition member Cres Vellucci said. “This thing is only going to get larger.”

The coalition hopes that Matsui will refuse to support additional funding beyond the $70 billion already earmarked for the war in 2007. “We all have to have some hope that Doris Matsui may really care about the troops and maybe will do something more than just talk about it,” Vellucci challenged. The congresswoman has yet to grant a meeting with the coalition.

“The congresswoman has opposed the war from the beginning and she opposes [the Bush administration’s] proposed escalation,” said Adriana Surfas, Matsui’s communications director. “The protesters are demanding that she make a blanket statement to cut all funding for troops on the ground in Iraq. She is concerned that this could affect the safety of the troops.”

There are only 20 members of the House, and no senators, who have embraced the position the protesters are demanding, according to Matsui’s office.

Vellucci sees things differently. “They’re playing politics while people are dying [in Iraq] on both sides,” Vellucci said.