Feature

Concepcion Picciotto: Still waiting for her audience

Since 1981, Picciotto has spent every day camped out across the street from the White House, protesting against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Concepcion Picciotto has led a single-minded life, said Kris Coronado in The Washington Post. Since 1981, Picciotto has spent every day camped out across the street from the White House, protesting against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. From her spot on the sidewalk in front of Lafayette Square park, Picciotto holds an array of homemade signs, one of which depicts photos of victims of the Hiroshima bombing with the caption: “Stay the course and this will happen to YOU!”

Reticent around reporters, she’s less so with tourists and other passersby. “I’m here because of you,” she says to one group. “If you people were more concerned, we wouldn’t have to be here.” She vows to keep up her anti-nuclear vigil until someone in the White House takes notice. Over 30 years, no president, from Reagan to Obama, has stepped across the street to address her. “I’m very discouraged,” she admits.

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