Do you ever have arguments around the squat?
Do you feel that squatting is a big part of your identity now?
Brendan: The biggest arguments in a squat are about the washing up! We are all messy but decent people. The last time there was a big fight in here was over a year ago, and I can’t even remember what it was about!
Johnny: Yeah, it is. Growing up as a travelling kid and being a squatter as an adult has definitely shaped who I am. I grew up differently to other kids – I was forced to grow up much quicker than everyone else because I was moving around so much and my mum abandoned me when I was thirteen. I didn’t have a choice but to become an adult, all of a sudden I had to look after myself. Also, when you’re living in a squat everyone is treated equally, with the same amount of respect no matter how old they are. Everyone treated me like an adult even though I wasn’t. I was taking care of myself and because of that I was treated like everybody else. Everyone is treated with that respect. You can’t find this kind of environment in any other part of society.
What’s your favourite home-cooked meal? Brendan: Definitely squirrel pie. They’re very meaty; you need three squirrels. You catch them with nuts.
“When you’re living in a squat everyone is treated equally, with the same amount of respect.” Florence Downs
Would you ever choose to live alone? Johnny: Definitely not. Home is all about company, maybe it’s to do with the way I grew up but I always feel more comfortable when I’m around other people. Of course sometimes it gets a bit much having so many people around all the time and not always having your own space, but I like it this way. Sometimes I think