D.C.

Longtime White House protester faces homelessness

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No matter who the President is, a protester outside the White House has been standing her ground for 30 years.

But now one of her long-time supporters is gone and so is the house she used in the area.

Concepcion Picciotto was born in Spain and is a 30-year fixture in Lafayette Park across from the White House. There, she has maintained a round-the-clock protest against nuclear weapons since Ronald Reagan was president.

Her partner in protest was William Thomas, who inherited some money and bought a house on 12th street so they and others could cook and shower between protest shifts. He died two years ago.

Thomas’ wife Ellen Thomas recently moved to North Carolina and says she can no longer afford the D.C. house and must sell, meaning Concepcion has to find someplace else.

"Ellen Benjamin Thomas is a thief," Concepcion said. She says she has no place to go when she has to vacate the property by Nov. 15 to comply with a court order.

Except for breaks, Concepcion is outside through storms, blizzards and earthquakes.

"Ellen has to sell the house and has tried to help Connie get lodging and Connie has totally rebuffed it," said James McGinley, another protester.

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