If you were unaware, the city of Oakland is currently in the midst of a housing crisis. Prices for renting and owning homes are skyrocketing, forcing groups like Moms 4 Housing to resort to desperate measures to keep roofs over their heads.
CBS News reports that Tolani King and Misty Cross, members of Moms 4 Housing, were released from jail Wednesday morning after each posting $5,000 bail. King and Cross, along with Moms 4 Housing supporters Jesse Turner and Walter Baker, were arrested early Tuesday morning on misdemeanor obstructing offenses. Their arrest came after an Alameda County judge ruled last week that Moms 4 Housing had “no valid claim of possession to” the vacant West Oakland home they’ve been residing in since November. Since American police have a fetish for being seen as big strongmen, they stormed a house filled with homeless mothers with an armored police vehicle and AR-15s. Seriously.
The home is owned by Wedgewood, a real estate firm that bought the home for $501,078 during a foreclosure auction held late last year. The story started gaining national coverage as the group went public with their plight and Wedgewood’s efforts to remove them from the property. Wedgewood is owned by Greg Geiser—who it should be noted once sued a middle-class couple for protesting him after he unfairly evicting them from their home. A real salt-of-the-earth kind of guy.
Moms 4 Housing has stated they wanted to buy the home from Wedgewood at cost through the Oakland Community Land Trust, a nonprofit that buys homes and turns them into affordable housing. Wedgewood’s counteroffer was paying for two months in a homeless shelter.
Wedgewood was not thrilled with the media and local lawmakers’ display of basic empathy at the plight of these women. The company said: “they should concentrate on finding a non-violent and progressive way to address the Oakland housing crisis that doesn’t rely on the theft of other people’s homes to solve their problems and address this serious issue.” Wedgewood could’ve easily done their part in helping with the crisis by selling the home to these women, but that would’ve been a little too much like decency.