RED RAG (cover illustration)

Back Issues

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Established 1979
Free! Fortnightly! Fun!

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 November 28th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on December 12th.

There can't be many newspapers around that hadn't sold a copy in four years! Red Rag was Reading's only newspaper (even if the Post Office refused to register it as such) and was read fortnightly by perhaps three thousand people. Most decisions were made on the spot by the people doing the work. There were no editors. The more long-standing problems were discussed at occasional meetings of the collective (which consisted of anyone who wants to be in it). About thirty people were periodically active in some stage of producing and distributing the Rag.

The aim of Red Rag was to provide a decent alternative coverage of local news and issues from a radical, non-aligned position; to promote subversive and creative initiatives; to provide a forum for unorthodox views; to allow some sort of co-existence between a huge variety of interests. The collective's policy was to print anything provided that it was not "racist, sexist, right-wing or supportive of oppressive religions".

In this issue (scan / txt): There's a call for 10,000 women to link hands around the Greenham Common air base at the international women's day of protest; in case you can't make it but would like to do something else useful, we print a list of local suppliers with contracts at the base. A day of action is planned to protest about pornography in the emerging video industry. We consider the link between feminism and animal liberation, why getting involved in CND meetings can be so uninviting, and the history of Dutch and Belgian offshore pirate radio in the early 1960s. The Council debates the Rock Festival and finally approves a night shelter for the down and outs, there's a plan to set up a vegetarian dining project, and the Legalise Cannabis Campaign surveys patterns of use.