RED RAG (cover illustration)

Back Issues

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Established 1979
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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 August 14th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on September 4th.

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 1250. 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), Red Rag interviews a recent prisoner who describes the drab and pointless life that goes on in Reading's most infamous institution.

Once you're in, you meet a lot of people there, and every one of them's done something wrong. If you go around and talk to people, you just learn so much about crime! Not the YPs, there's nothing to learn from that lot, all they do is go out, steal a car, ride it about and then dump it. But people that are in for smuggling drugs, say. You can learn how to do it, why they got caught. Or burglaries, you can learn so much about burgling a house. There's loads of ways of doing it! To the people that are putting you in there, it's not worth putting you in there. If they're trying to make you better. It just goes to prove that they don't give a fuck about anybody apart from themselves. "We don't want him on the street, so we'll put him away." That's the way it works, I suppose. They're just a bunch of arseholes.