Mike Smith knew he would be arrested when he rolled himself onto Cherry St. along with fellow protesters on Mon., June 9 to speak out against the city sweeps of homeless encampments, but he did it anyway.
And though the protest outside city hall was small and controlled, he said he wanted to be there to add one more level of security for the other protesters. "They are going to be much more cautious about abusing me," said Smith.
Smith, 52, is referring to the fact that he is bound to a wheelchair because he has cerebral palsy. Smith joked that his arrest presented a bit of a puzzle for officers who eventually had him picked up in one of the county's Access vans.
He explains that his passion for homeless activism isn't purely altruistic. "I live in this world and there's just no reason for me to believe that I won't be homeless too someday... we need to find common cause."
Smith has been working for change much of his life. He is on the board of 911 Media Arts, and is one of the original members of the Real Change Organizing Project.