NPR logo

White House Protester, Who Held A Peace Vigil For More Than 30 Years, Dies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/464469852/464469853" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
White House Protester, Who Held A Peace Vigil For More Than 30 Years, Dies

Remembrances

White House Protester, Who Held A Peace Vigil For More Than 30 Years, Dies

White House Protester, Who Held A Peace Vigil For More Than 30 Years, Dies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/464469852/464469853" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Concepcion Picciotto, a protester who held a keep a peace vigil outside the White House for more than three decades, has died. NPR spoke with her in 1985. The Washington Post speculated that she held the longest-running act of political protest in U.S. history.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Protesters in the nation's capital come and go. Concepcion Picciotto was a constant. For more than 30 years, she staged an antinuclear proliferation vigil in Lafayette Square across from the White House. She died yesterday at a housing facility for homeless women.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Picciotto's age was not known, but she was thought to be in her 70s or 80s. She was born in Spain and came to the U.S. as a young woman in 1960. Outside of the White House, she often wore a helmet and headscarf and blamed the government for her ills and several conspiracies.

SIEGEL: On this program back in 1985, we profiled protesters in Lafayette Park, and she was among the voices we heard. Here she is reciting a Bible passage.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

CONCEPCION PICCIOTTO: Let not them that are my enemies wrongfully rejoice over me. Neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. Let them be ashamed and brought confusion together. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head.

SIEGEL: That's Concepcion Picciotto on this program in January 1985, not long after President Ronald Reagan began his second term. The Washington Post says her peace vigil was widely thought to be the longest running act of political protest in the nation's history.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.