February 1991



On A chilly morning in the last autumn during the CLOSE-UP program, I strolled through the streets of Washington D.C. Surrounded by seemingly listless and hasty people I approach the White House. Fascinated by this building which I have only seen on TV before, I prepare my camera.

Suddenly, I discover a woman on the other side of the road who officiously sweeps stubs together. I come nearer greet her and stand still, curious about her reaction. Gay eyes out of her wrinkled face look at me and she answers with a friendly "Hello" and "How are you today?" I feel invited, and we easily engage in conversation. Proudly, she presents me her stand which is covered by pictures and information ma- terial. The slogans on the yellow boards are fairly visible.

Since 1981, Concepcion Picciotto has been living on that spot. Every season, day and night during almost tell years under the open sky, she has demonstrated for peace. She is a living pence vigil against the nuclear war.

"Today, we have to set clear signs of peace against rearmament, of the super powers the discord in the world she asserts." Her voice doesn't sound fanatic, rather tender.

She talks to people to inform and convince them shout the madness of war. Excitedly she says, "Each day is different. Today I meet you, tomorrow maybe in African or a Japanese..."

Although the courageous woman can be seen daily by the President and his family, no official has ever bothered to talk to he;. Instead, there have been laws enacted to re- strict her field of activity and to drive away the troublesome person. "this control only reveals their fear, " Concepcion, says defiantly.

Several times policemen and Navy soldiers have beaten up the defenseless woman and destroyed her stand. The evidence she shows me, newspaper clippings and pictures of her face covered with blood. Despite those maltreatment's Concepcion continues her mission for freedom justice, equality, and pence. The source of her resoluteness and confidence is God. "When danger arises, I wait, I see, and I pray she tells me.

For farewell we embrace each other and wish each other peace and a nice day. I'm glad that she exists.

Concepcion Information List | Conchita Personal Story
Photographs | The President's Neighbor