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Single Homeless Moms Get Reprieve On Eviction From Oakland Home

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- A pair of homeless Oakland mothers occupying a vacant home as a housing protest on Thursday was given another four days to make their case.

At a hearing packed by dozens of people who support mothers Dominique Walker, 34, and Sameerah Karim, 41, in their effort to remain living at the house at 2928 Magnolia St., Alameda County Superior Court Judge Patrick McKinney said, "I understand the confusion" and said there seems to have been a lack of notice.

The two single, homeless women who have established the activist group Moms 4 Housing has been living in the home on Magnolia Street since they illegally entered it on November 18th.

The court case, which is just one part of the standoff over an illegally occupied Oakland home, has been continued to next week.  Thursday also reinforced every indication that, whatever the outcome in court, the occupation will go on much longer.

"There is no right way to do a wrong thing," said Sam Singer, a spokesman for real estate firm Wedgewood. "What these people are doing is the wrong thing.They are bullies, and they are thieves."

Singer was speaking outside the Hayward Hall of Justice, surrounded by housing activists shouting "sell the house." Inside the courthouse, a hearing on the pending eviction in Oakland was kicked back to the 30th.

"This was a win," said Dominique Walker, one of the 'Moms4Housing' staying in the Magnolia Street Home. "This was a win today. Will be back on Monday, still fighting. We're not going anywhere."

The delay, however, does not change the judge's tentative ruling that Wedgewood is, in fact, the owner of the home and the eviction is lawful. But this is not just a legal fight, it has also been joined by several Oakland political factions.

"Wedgewood, in particular as a speculator, is driving this housing prices," Councilwoman Nikki Fortunato-Bas said outside the courthouse. "They have hundreds of properties in Oakland that are vacant that could be used to house people like these women."

Oakland City Council members and protest supporters again called on Wedgewood to sell the the house through the Oakland Land Trust. When asked why they will not sell the house:

"Because they stole it," Singer answered. "Who is going to sell a house? They stole this house!"

On Monday, lawyers for Moms4Housing will again make their case. "That housing is a human right," says attorney Leah Simon-Weisberg.

A judge seems inclined to disagree. So what will come after that?

"I expect them to negotiate with these moms," says Councilwoman Bas.

"Ultimately, they're going to get evicted, and it's unfortunate," predicted Singer. "Nobody wants to evict these people, but when you steal someone's home, you get evicted."

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