Volume 6 Issue 15 - February 16-22, 1984


I, Concepcion Picciotto, under the penalty of perjury, hereby depose and state that:

On January 22, 1984, at about six AM, a small blue automobile stopped in front of my anti-nuclear protest signs on the south side of Lafayette Park, bordering Pennsylvania Ave. facing the White House. A man, who later identified himself to Park Police officers as John Deming, U.S. Marine Corps, Navy Annex, Va., emerged from the passenger door of the automobile. Mr. Deming walked to the end of my signs, and punched a sign which read, "Live by the bomb; die by the bomb." He then kicked the sign, breaking it.

I recognized Mr. Deming from an occasion which had occurred approximately two months earlier. At that time, during the late evening, Mr. Deming had accosted me in the same location, the site of a round the clock vigil against nuclear weapons which I have been maintaining for over two and one half years. Mr. Deming repeatedly cursed and threatened, telling me that he had been trained to kill. After some time, a police officer arrived, and told Mr. Deming to leave. Before leaving, Mr. Deming warned me that he would be back.

When I noticed what Mr. Deming was doing to my sign on the morning of the 22, I asked him why he was doing it. He told me, "These signs are shit!" He then began calling me a number of names including "communist," and "nigger," and told me to "get out of this country." He began to advance on in a threatening manner, and I told him I was going to take the license number of the car. He got back in the car, and drove west on Pennsylvania Ave. before I could get the number.

A short time later I saw a man approaching from the west. I did not immediately recognize Mr. Deming because he was now wearing a blue ski jacket, while he had been coatless when he left in the car.

Mr. Deming walked past me and began to punch holes in a sign which read: "God is the Absolute."

"You are a coward," I yelled at Mr. Deming, terrified at his behavior.

Mr. Deming then punched me in the mouth. He grabbed the aluminum head-dress which I wear, and forced it down over my face, cutting the bridge of my nose. He held the head-dress over my face making it hard for me to breathe, and increasing my terror. I broke away, and ran into the street screaming for help. I saw Mr. John Foxcroft and called for him to phone the police.

At about that time my friend, William Thomas, arrived at the signs, and Mr. Deming immediately attacked Thomas by punching him repeatedly in the head, knocking Thomas to the ground more than once.

Park police officers Rico Woods and Charles Stubby arrived shortly after. They summoned an ambulance to inspect my wounds, and questioned Mr. Deming briefly, before he was driven away in an Armed Forces police car.

This is at least the third occasion on which Thomas has been physically assaulted by a U.S. Marine in connection with our protest activities, and at least the fourth occasion on which a marine has attacked our signs.

signed: Concepcion Picciotto
January 23, 1984

1997 Inaugural | Park Closures | Pennsylvania Ave. Closure
Peace Park | Proposition One
Legal Overview | Regulations