SAN FRANCISCO – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed past peace activists Monday who camped outside her home overnight to demand that Congress stop funding the war in Iraq.
The small group confronted Pelosi and asked for a meeting at about 6:30 a.m. as she hurried to a waiting vehicle without stopping to speak. "My home is my home," Pelosi curtly told the protesters before being driven away.
The activists gathered outside the speaker's Pacific Heights home were the remaining few of a group that marched Sunday across the Golden Gate Bridge to meet with the Democrat.
"San Francisco has been against this war from the very beginning," said Toby Blome, 51, a physical therapist from El Cerrito who organized the Sunday event. "This is our fifth year of the war, and Nancy needs to wake up and represent San Franciscans."
The group was stopped Sunday evening outside Pelosi's house and told the Speaker would not see them.
The rally was the most recent "occupation" activists have staged in lawmakers' home communities and offices in recent weeks. Democrat U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel's office in Chicago was targeted on Thursday, and peace activists dressed in pink showed up recently at the Senate offices of presidential hopefuls Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
"Speaker Pelosi shares the concerns of the protesters about the disastrous war in Iraq. The Speaker has put the House of Representatives on course to chart a new direction for the American people and the war in Iraq," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement.
On Wednesday, about 20 demonstrators gathered outside Pelosi's San Francisco office — but before they could enter, a staff member ushered the group down to a conference room seven floors below, where many voiced frustration that Pelosi was not being aggressive enough in seeking an end to the war.
Other recent protest targets include Reps. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and David Obey of Wisconsin and Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland. All four Democrats voted against the 2002 measure authorizing the war.