A Legacy of Peace Activism: Concepcion Picciotto’s Memorial

Washington, D.C. – Friends and fellow activists honor one of the White House’s closest neighbors, Concepcion Picciotto, through a public memorial service and peace walk on February 27. Picciotto died on January 25 and is considered to have run the longest political protest in the U.S.

She set up her tent and signs against nuclear proliferation in 1981, spanning the terms of five presidents. The cause of her death may be related to a fall, according to N Street Village, the shelter for homeless women where Picciotto had lived and spent her last days. She was believed to be 80-years-old at the time of her death.

“She was feisty, just like they said,” Luci Murphy, a member of the D.C. Labor Chorus, remembers. “I mean, somebody who can stay outdoors 24/7…this is a tough cookie.”

U.S. Park Police removed her tent in 2013, after they found it abandoned for a night. But her peace vigil will continue to sit in front of the White House, thanks to volunteers. Its main guardian is her friend, Philipos Melaku-Bello.

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