Attempting to ignore the interruption, Campbell was guided by his staff toward a hardhat and shovel for a photo op. But before he could lift a scoop of dirt, several protesters fell to the ground beneath him, lying face up, grinning.
Asked by reporters if the homeless dampened the Olympic spirit, Campbell responded, “Of course not. They add to the spice and diversity of Atlanta.” They added to the next day’s headlines as well.
Sitting back watching it all unfold was 52-year-old Anita Beaty, a five-foot-two firebrand with blazing-red hair. As executive director of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, Beaty often tried to subvert some of Atlanta’s defining moments on the world stage by deflecting attention to the city’s growing homeless population.