Dale Farm families returned to London's High Court yet again today - but a presiding judge warned that the travellers could not expect to win every time.
The traveller community are seeking a judicial review of their eviction as part of a flurry of last-ditch legal bids to keep Basildon council's bailiffs outside the gates.
Today's application, brought on behalf of resident Mary Sheridan, argued the looming eviction was "disproportionate and unlawful."
It claimed that the eviction decision violates travellers' rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Ms Sheridan's counsel Marc Willers told the court his client was not arguing she should stay there "forever."
He stressed: "There is no alternative, suitable accommodation at this point in time, and it would be disproportionate to be forced to leave in the absence of such accommodation."
But Mr Justice Ouseley said it was not always possible to get what the travellers wanted - "especially when what they most want is to go on committing a criminal offence."
Residents had a choice between moving into conventional housing or taking risks on the roadside, he said.
"Whatever choice they make cannot be visited on an authority endeavouring to uphold the law."
Ms Sheridan told reporters she was praying the courts would let them stay.
"This is our home and we've nowhere to go. If we can't live in a former scrapyard then where can we live?
"Our children won't get educated if they make us homeless.
"We've got a fighting chance here and that's the best chance travellers have ever had," she said.
The settlement at Cray's Hill in Essex is one of Britain's biggest traveller camps.
Dale Farm is home to more than 1,000 people, with the disputed half of the site housing 80 families.
Travellers have lived there since the early 1970s and legally own the land.
But Basildon council has repeatedly refused to permit housing on the site, saying the former scrapyard is technically protected greenbelt.
The residents say they have offered to relocate if the council agrees to new pitches, but the deal has fallen on deaf ears.
The injunction barring their eviction ends on Monday.
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