Red Rag - Back Issues - 1987

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This page lists the 1987 back issues of Red Rag, culminating with the Rag's unfortunate demise in July. . Each issue is available in two forms:

  • scan - choose this to see exactly what each issue looked like, but be prepared for 20MB downloads
  • txt - just the text - choose this for a much faster download or if you want to copy the text into any other form

You can also link from here to the introduction page for each issue.


  • January 13th

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The Job Destruction Agency comes to town; the Winter Solstice is celebrated at Stonehenge; a new 10 question "availability for work" test arrives and the Rag prints the answers; there's a demo in support of independent trade unions at GCHQ Cheltenham; maybe the Chatham Street carpark could be used as a playground; Red Rag readership has dropped by 90%; and there's something called Snorkmaster Grobblie.

The passengers in the passing buses sat with their faces glued to the windows. Here were hundreds of police with vans and horse, surrounding a group of people dancing and playing music. They were mystified. Was it a riot or a street party?

(front cover)
  • January 27th

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While Harbax Singh goes on trial for the murder of Gurdip Kaur, her husband is still walking free; the Women's Centre moves into new accommodation; there are bailiffs at the Blue Gate; World Education Berkshire focus on AIDS; BT are double-charging a "takeover fee" to house movers; Blowzabella are down one tunesmith; and the community engineer will fix your hi-fi, although whether or not he'll do this with talcum powder is a little unclear.

(front cover)
  • February 10th

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Despite Parliament being told recently that there were no women at Greenham, no fence had been cut, and so no money was necessary for repairs, small groups of women have cut down parts of the perimeter fence at Greenham Common every night for a week. The Wildlife Garden, dismissed by some as a heap of rubble, wins an Environmental Award; the Job Training Scheme is only there to get the unemployment figures down in time for this year's election; a Free Mandela demonstration is coming to London; and Veggie Dining have had more comebacks than we care to remember, had their cutlery stolen and been banned from most of the suitable venues in Reading.

(front cover)
  • February 24th

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Reading Council's Health & Safety Executive agree that the old bus depot can be demolished by a crane swinging a ball and chain, so long as someone squirts a hose at the asbestos as it falls. Red Rag challenges borough councillors to stand on the site during the demolition and demonstrate their confidence in this method. The new Women's Information Centre opens; the all new risen-from the ashes like a phoenix veggie dining takes a nose dive; and the current state of advice about AIDS and the HTLV III virus that causes it.

(front cover)
  • March 10th

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The new Women's Information Centre has opened in style; the Night has been Reclaimed; Greenham women are everywhere. The USAF are asked to mark the anniversary of bombing Libya by suspending flights for the duration of an 18-hour vigil; the DHSS has no leaflets about the forthcoming changes in death and maternity benefits, but even if they had any they won't hand them out until the new rules have taken effect; an exercise in social control; another guide to safe sex; and Red Rag readers need "News on Sunday" - Britain's first national radical newspaper for a generation.

(front cover)
  • March 24th

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It's next to impossible to say how much of Reading will be trashed by "developers" over the coming years, but it seems like nothing short of a market collapse will stop the rot. In its first year The Conspiracy put on over 30 concerts and raised thousands of pounds for local organisations; working people must organise together, understand the full implications of attacks on their living standards, and fight for democratic control over their own affairs; International AIDS Day is on April 3rd; and why you might say that the formative mechanism of culture amounts to a reification of human activities which fixates the living and models the transmission of experience from one generation to another on the transmission of commodities: a reification which strives to ensure the past's domination over the future.

One might ask who exactly it is who gains - like one might ask how come there aren't any winos in the architects drawings of the latest Kings Rd office.

(front cover)
  • April 7th

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150 officers, 20 vehicles and nine months of planning and undercover work go into a raid on Mandela Court which seizes a paltry amount of soft drugs; one local person comments that "...at the moment cannabis is virtually impossible to get hold of", but adds "almost every other drug is available". The Police and Criminal Evidence Act's authorisation of prolonged detention of up to 96 hours for questioning until the suspect breaks down is in flagrant contradiction of the right to silence; Reading students protest about government cuts in arts education, a block to any kind of education which encourages questioning, analytical thinking and curiosity; how handing out anti-fascist leaflets gets you branded a fascist yourself; and under the powers of the Public Order Act (only three weeks old) the police have can control the size and route of marches, and the CND footslog through London later this month will be their test case. What will happen?

On being challenged to reconcile his position as a trustee of the Vegetarian Society with the promotion of meat products he retorted that the Society's existing rules allow a butcher or even a slaughterman to serve on the Council.

(front cover)
  • April 21st

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A spate of suicides hits defence trade computer experts in the Reading area; a new pressure group encourages councils to enforce the laws concerning estate agents boards advertising houses for sale; the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency has kept secret more than 250 reports of breakdowns at nuclear power stations; it takes twelve people to hold a riot, three for violent disorder, but only one for affray; along with Yuppies, Young Upwardly Mobile Persons and Dinkies, Dual Income No Kids there are now Yummies, the Young Upwardly Mobile Marxists; and Caversham has a plague of rhinoceroses.

(front cover)
  • May 5th

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The only independent telephone system in Britain other than British Telecom is in Hull, where the telephones are run by the local council; while BP lost 50,000 jobs, Hull has a policy of retraining employees displaced by new technology; it is cheaper to subscribe to than BT and far more efficient in its service. Radio 210 reports that local anarchists have prepared posters, leaflets and stickers as part of a "Don't Vote" campaign; but you should vote for the SDP-Liberal Alliance because David Owen wants power and if we help him, perhaps he will throw us a few crumbs once he has leapt into partnership with the Tories; and the Rag has a recurring inability to decide exactly what is or isn't folk music.

(front cover)
  • May 19th

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Not much news this time, but a vacancy for a Red Rag co-ordinator. How long can they keep this up? Bosses in Bracknell for example are refusing to touch the MSC's new "Job Training Scheme" with a bargepole, partly because they're no doubt afraid of catching something nasty off the town's 3000-strong mob of claimants; the Anti-Apartheid organises a National Sponsored Cycle Ride for Nelson Mandela's 69th birthday; the Conspiracy Tape hits the streets; and what are the chances of Mrs Thatcher not winning next month's general election?

(front cover)
  • June 2nd

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Thatcher's second term draws to a close. So prepare for the "Festival Season", highpoint of which is the solstice bash at Stonehenge, as seen on TV. Or for National "Marking The Routes Day", when people all over the country will mark the routes of nuclear convoys. Help Reading Community Farm Project establish a city farm. Go watch films at the Hexagon, which boasts Dolby sound and Reading's biggest screen. Or maybe you could write a piece for the Rag?

No copy means no Red Rag, so it's up to you. There are lots of people who claim to work in a collective way, so it's startling that so few seem to apply this to their fortnightly Rag.

(front cover)
  • July 23rd

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It is our sad duty to inform you of the demise of Red Rag... Despite a long tradition, Red Rag was not in debt... Box 79 is to be recycled and the bank account closed.

(front cover)