Gloria Takla had just eight days before the bank was going to evict her from her home.
But this afternoon, about 30 , Occupy San Jose and other Bay Area residents marched from Takla’s foreclosed home to the across to demand that the banks extend her loan.
After an hour-long negotiation during which protesters occupied the bank’s interior, the bank agreed to extend the loan expiration from Dec. 14 to Feb. 14, 2012, a loan she first took in February 2010.
“This is a victory,” Takla said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the demonstrators’ help.”
Takla’s daughter, Anoushka, said this was a 21-month problem of the banks not willing to help or work with her mother, and they were finally able to come to a solution just days before eviction.
Though she is more optimistic after the extension, she appeared concerned as she looked through the many papers of names and contact information of people from New York, Texas and Chicago that she would have to call.
This march was just one of several around the Bay Area that marks the national day of “Occupy Our Homes” campaign, which aims to protect families and individuals from being turned out on the street.
The state-wide community organization Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, says that the action in Redwood City is necessary because the government has left communities behind.
"The 99 percent bailed out Wall Street, while Wall Street bailed on our communities, taking our money for outrageous executive salaries and bonuses and massive profits," ACCE said in a statement.
“How could they kick a woman out of her home during the holidays?” said Christy Wong of San Jose.
While the protestors were celebrating what they see as a victory, a bank client saw it as misguided.
Chris Pagnotta of Redwood City took three hours off of work to close down his account with Chase. But because the protesters were occupying the bank, the tellers were not obligated to serve customers because of a perceived threat.
“So I just wasted all this time because these Occupiers, who are supposed to be supporting me-the 99 percent-, have temporarily shut down the bank,” Pagnotta said. “I’m just trying to go on with life.”
Pagnotta said he was now forced to live in this truck in Redwood City.
Yet protestors remained enthusiastic, fighting for their cause.
“I thank Jesus,” said Louise Vaughn, a South San Francisco resident with the ACCE. “We’re saving one house at a time.”
Another protestor was determined to continue fighting this battle.
“And if this deal falls through, send us back in there!” he shouted.
Bay City News contributed to this report.