Picciotto maintained a vigil near the White House beginning in 1981

By Alex Heigl
Updated January 26, 2016 01:40 PM
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Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty

Concepcion Picciotto, who maintained a peace vigil in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Park since 1981, has died.

Picciotto’s age was unclear; the Washington Postwho first reported her death at N Street Village, a shelter for homeless women – pegged her at around 80.

Picciotto’s vigil included a tent and an assortment of signs. She told DCist in 2005 that she was protesting nuclear weapons and political corruption. Asked what she would do if “all the madness that you are protesting did stop in your lifetime,” Picciotto answered, “I don’t know.”

In 2013, Park police seized Picciotto’s encampment. D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton intervened on her behalf, calling Picciotto “well known for her willingness to engage in principled activism at considerable personal costs.”