Bruce Coker on the Influx Press event Squatting London, part of The Stoke Newington Literary Festival 6/6/15.

Love Bombs

On Saturday evening I attended a session on squatting in London, hosted by the estimable Influx Press and featuring writer and activist ‘Furious’ George F and poet Paul Hawkins, who together combined passion, humour and rage in roughly equal proportions.

Each, they reveal, came to squatting for similar reasons — necessity, primarily, as seems to have been the case for most of us who’ve ended up living that way down the years — though via very different routes. Hawkins, despite being a veteran of the often-lamented and invariably misunderstood 90s scene, rejects the very notion of nostalgia. And the relevance of his experiences of twenty or thirty years ago is palpable in the sections he recites from Claremont Road as well as those in his most recent collection, Place Waste Dissent.

George F could hardly have presented a greater contrast to Hawkins’ calm, restrained delivery. A force of nature…

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