Since 1981, Connie Picciotto has sat outside the White House in a peaceful protest against war and nuclear weapons. But her 32 year-long vigil came to an end Thursday morning after police removed her camp overnight when the site was left unmanned during a shift.
According to a recent Washington Post profile, the 77-year-old woman is often accompanied by fellow activists who man the site when Picciotto occasionally steps away. But the U.S. Park Police claimed that the tent was “abandoned early Thursday morning,” which broke the law that requires vigils to be continuously occupied in order to remain standing.
“At first I felt terrible,” Picciotto said to NBC News about finding that her tent had been removed. “But now I see all these people helping to attract attention that we need to stay here. Nevertheless, I was never going to give up. I can’t.”
The camp was restored Thursday afternoon.