The racist idiots of the English Defence League held a demonstration in Luton yesterday, on the day they announced that they were joining up with the British Freedom Party - another extreme right wing outfit led by ex-British National Party activists.
Around 1,000 people joined the anti-EDL 'We are Luton' demonstration from the town's Wardown Park (I didn't see the EDL, but Luton on Sunday reports that they had a around 500).
The police mounted a huge operation to keep the two demonstrations apart, with metal barriers to prevent the 'We are Luton' march getting into the town centre. There was a brief flurry of action here, where the police deployed their horses to stop an attempted break out of the police cordon:
Good to see Leviticus sound system at the start of 'We are Luton', playing some Bob Marley as usual! Leviticus is a successor to the Exodus Collective who famously put on massive free parties and festivals in Luton and surrounding area in the 1990s and early 2000s: 'The Leviticus (formerly Exodus) Collective are a Luton based Sound System and Social Movement who see ‘Leaving Babylon’ as re-building our community on the principles of oneness, sharing and co-operation, instead of those of greed, competition and hoarding which underpin the ‘Babylon System’. So we re-claim disused lands and properties in our town to create our own tribal dances, free festivals, workplaces and homes...building an alternative ‘way of life’ right here in Luton'.
Luton is generally portrayed in the media as a town dominated by the racist EDL on the one hand, and hardcore islamists on the other, but obviously most people have no time for either of these tiny factions. Leviticus offer a different vision of 'Revo-luton'. I went to one of their dances last year at the Carnival Arts Centre in Luton, with reggae in one room and drum'n'bass in the other - and a crowd with White UK, African-Caribbean and Asian people partying together. Over the years Exodus/Leviticus have mobilised many more people in Luton than the EDL have ever managed.
Blinded by the Light - memories of racism and job cuts in 1980s Luton (including the Luton Youth Movement)
'Angry White People' book review (at Datacide magazine)