By Barrie White
Squatters have admitted to MM that drugs are still being abused while they continue to occupy a pub in Hulme.
Two squatters, who gave their names as ‘Ed’ and ‘Al’, gave an, at times, incoherent and confused account of their occupation of the Hope Inn on Chester Road.
When asked whether they allow drugs to be consumed, Al said: “I’m going to be honest with you, it does get abused. But people are responsible in this house for themselves.”
The pub is owned by Lau Yuk, 52, who had planned to re-develop the pub before the group seized control through an already broken window.
Al confirmed this: “Someone said it had already been broken into so they thought they would break into it as well.”
Ed and Al were clear about the reasons for the occupation and how long they intended to stay.
Ed, wearing a tutu, said: “It’s a social community where we want everyone to take part.
He added: “All we want here is for people who come here who have problems and they sort it out and go out of here with smiles on their faces.”
He continued: “We plan to stay here as long as we can. Definitely at least a year.”
NO HOPE?: The Hope Inn, where the squatter refuse to leave
Currently, Greater Manchester Police are not in a position to remove the squatters as it is a civil matter.
However, if Mrs Yuk can make it happen, Al insisted the squatters will go quietly.
She said: “We’d have to move on if the owner got a court order. We don’t want any violence.”
Ed said the local kids had accepted the squatters: “They thought I was well cool.”
He added: “I went the newsagents in tutu and kids asked me if I was gay and I said I’m not. I showed them the newspaper we were in and they were alright.”
But he evaded giving an answer when asked if the squatters had considered the impact of their action on local residents and Mrs Yuk.
Ed admitted that he had squatted in Manchester before and will do again.
He said: “There’s been quite a few places I’ve squatted in the past scene in Manchester.”
He added: “And again, if we do get kicked out of this place, we’ll be going to another place.”
HAPPY DAYS: Al and Ed pose for a photo in the Hope Inn