The initial choice to illegally occupy a house was an act of desperation that reflected how difficult—impossible, even—it is for working-class people to find housing they can afford in the Bay Area, where luxury condos sit side-by-side with tent cities. One approach to closing the gap has been removing the regulatory restraints to building new housing. They were joined by three other mothers similarly experiencing homelessness—Tolani King, Misty Cross, and Sharena Thomas—and their children. The owner of the house the Moms are occupying is a real estate company named Wedgewood that owns at least properties in the Bay and specializes in "flipping" them. The entire action—from the battering ram to the door and windows of the vacant house being boarded up—was caught in front of the TV cameras and broadcast on Twitter. During speeches to drum up support, the Moms and their coalition shouted down legislators and stormed the podium. In late December, more than a hundred supporters packed the courtroom at the Hayward Hall of Justice, a half-hour southeast of Oakland, while an equal number milled the yard of "Moms House" waiting for the verdict in the eviction filing.
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