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These are the back issues of Red Rag. They'll be posted here every two weeks on or around the anniversary of their original publication. We're currently reissuing 1982; the latest issue is dated February 21 (scan / txt); the next one is due out on March 7th.
Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a dedicated readership - by early 1982 - of over 700. It aimed to publicise and encourage a wide spectrum of subversion and culture in Reading; it kept people in touch with an events diary which spanned the activities of groups as diverse as organic gardeners and anarchists, anti-nuclear activists and civic planners, wild-eyed liberals and woolly communists; it contained news and views and details of things to do in and around Reading which the local press couldn't or wouldn't touch. And it was free.
In this issue (scan / txt): work on setting up the new Rape Crisis Centre starts and the police respond positively; the Women's Peace Camp at Greenham organises a "non-violent training weekend" while the Rag's own debate about non-violence in the anti-nuclear movement rumbles on, and even Solidarity has something to say about it; the Labour party considers how we're going to get out of the recession; Ordnance Survey publishes wholly fictitious maps so that international terrorists won't spot where the RAF is hiding its nukes; we drop a hint about not swimming in the Thames because it's radioactive; and Tory MP Sir William Straubenzee defies both logic (siting cruise missiles in Berkshire will not make us 'a more vulnerable target') and good manners (when challenged to discuss the matter in public).
Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification.
Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others - even by those allegedly acting on their behalf.