Just to share my Luton experience with you.
My day started off badly, slept after my alarm call so instead of joining up with the coaches at Liverpool Street, I had to travel from St. Pancras.
Queuing in Marks & Spencer at the station for some "light refreshment" for the train I saw a guy in a Portsmouth North East Division hoodie a couple of places up ahead of me. Would you believe it - when his turn came to pay (till number 5) he was served by a female in a hijab! Ironic or what? A couple of places behind him, I got her as well.
Train journey was uneventful, banter, a drink or two all under the watchful gaze of a couple of OB. Within about half an hour we pulled into Luton, I had taken a call from Steve0 from the DDL telling me that the UAF were waiting for us to say "hello" at the station and trying to stop us from leaving it.
Arriving at Luton to a relatively large police presence we were confronted at the station exit by the aforementioned great unwashed, "Nazi scum off our streets" being the mantra. I was spat at by what I believed to be a female, just shows you the level of these people, and then confronted by a few student types asking why I was taking photos of them. After a few heated exchanges a journalist attempted to take a photo of our "conversation" at which point the "students" covered their faces and did a sharp one - outstanding examples.
The Railway pub, heaving as you would expect and I´m sure they don´t normally charge 3.00 GBP for a can of Fosters? Anyway met up up my mates from the DDL, a great reception they and the boys from the GDL received. Wonderful atmosphere, but then after a while the pub ran out of beer! Can you believe it, empty barrels and no more cans! The manager must have been cursing the fact he didn´t buy more in.
Next port of call was the Deja Vu bar just opposite where getting served was an absolute nightmare, I reckon these two watering holes made more money on Saturday than they will make all week. Met up with so many forum members who I have only had the priviledge of exchanging PMs with - really good people, each and every one of them. I cannot recall being made so welcome and feeling a part of something that really mattered for as far back as I can remember - such a vibe. Without being melodramatic, it was humbling, believe me.
When we eventually moved off into the town everybody was in great voice. It really was a fantastic atmosphere, full of positive energy and confidence. We stopped briefly outside Charlie Browns, had a good singsong - "Coming down the road" never sounded so good - and moved on into the town heavily flanked by our friends (and they are) in blue which included forces from not just Bedfordshire but the Met and Kent.
Winding our way into St. George´s Square, people were staring out of windows, some filming and I even saw someone wave, new recruit maybe? It was then that someone said, "There´s Gazzads!", without even being told where he was I spotted him, identical to his posts on the forum he was easily identifiable - fantastic guy, and a real larger than life character.
Arriving at the square cordoned off by metal sheeting and more OB, many with video equipment, I found a place to stand and have a good view of the podium where the speeches were going to be made. And what speeches they were, delivered with power, conviction and the confidence that comes with knowing that things are moving the way you want them to be.
I gave a short interview to Heart FM, without allowing the interviewer to lead me on - admittedly she was no Paxman, but she tried. Took some photos of journos, some of whom got a bit miffed - surely if it´s OK to take our photos then it must be OK to take theirs?
A musical interlude which was quality and more fraternising with people I only knew via the forum, drank my last tin of G&T and before you knew it, a couple of hours had just flown by and we were on our way back to the station in peace - the OB have never earned overtime so easily. I don´t know how the other mob behaved but although we were a bit boisterous and exuberant, we were pussy cats.
At the station Abdul was being interviewed and once he had finished I took a cheeky photo opportunity to have my picture taken with him - sad but there you go!
The OB were a bit obstructive in allowing us onto the station and it took a fair while to climb the stairs and get on the platform. I think they were impressed with our self control and I even shook hands with a few of them - never had that experience at WHL I can tell you.
Shared the carriage back to London with several of the Scottish Defence League guys, top men each and every one, fiercely Scottish but proud of the union between our countries. What a great day.
Just to wrap up by saying thanks to everyone I met and who I now count as friends: Wookie, Andy Wilders, Reynar, Villa 82, DudleyAngloSaxon, El Greco (thanks for the cufflinks mate), Christine Patriot, Steve Freedom, Gazzads, SquarePeg, Slinky (I think) and Curly (I think), and of course my mates in the DDL, Steve0, Timo, AntijihadNL et al. If I have missed anyone out I apologise, forgive me, you all gave me such a great welcome and for that I am genuinely thankful - you guys are the best, and that says to me that there is no way we will be defeated. See you all again soon.
A rambling and emotional Shelfside. NS!
Film of that Luton train station incident when UAF's red fascists attempted to curtail the democratic rights of EDL supporters: