Back Issues

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Established 1979
Free! Fortnightly! Fun!
(cover illustration)

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 October 16th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 30th.

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 1300. 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): the Council's Housing Committee decides to sell all 105 Council houses which are now being built; its waiting list is getting shorter but only because they've redefined who can be on it. In West Germany a teacher tells his pupils that during the War, no Jews had been killed and Americans had faked photographs of atrocities; another teacher complains about this in a letter to the press; guess which one loses his job. The squat at Burghfield Mill declares independence from the UK while wrestling with the problem of how to haul Brian's coach out of the river; the County Council give themselves planning permission for a 375,000 sq ft office development in the town centre and then sell the site for 12 million; and we print the rules for Non-eliminatory-musical-chairs.

I stood on the outside of the fence looking in (or was I looking out?) It was a green fence, topped with a frill of barbed wire and decorated in places with child's clothing, torn scarves and faded, sodden photographs of smiling strangers.