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 (usually) two weeks on or around the anniversary of their original publication. We're currently reissuing 1983; the latest issue is dated January 23rd (scan / txt); the next one is due out on February 6th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a print run by now of over 1000. It printed pretty well everything it got sent ("unless the Collective judged it racist, sexist, right wing, or supportive of oppressive religions"). It aimed 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. And it was free.

In this issue (scan / txt): Shehnaz Sheikh faces immediate deportation. Even local Tory MP Tony Durant is opposed; we interview Shehnaz and explain the background to the campaign to keep her here. The "Special Claim Group" of the DHSS descends on Reading looking for scroungers and fiddlers; the Brock Barracks night shelter is looking for volunteers; Diogenes visits the Borough Council - there's a certain fascination to it but he's not sure he'll bother in future; John Punter's "Walking Tour of Central Reading" stimulates comment and discussion about development in central Reading.

We can't afford our printing bills. This issue was partly free because we had some paper, ink and stencils left from the days when the Rag was always this hard to read. When we go back to litho printing we'll keep it down to 4 or 8 pages. Recent content has been dire and from now on the Collective will edit without compunction.

If the Home Office make it easy for me, they'll have to make it easy for everyone else - that's why they don't want to let me stay.