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 1984; the latest issue is dated October 14th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 28th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a readership of 4000. It was produced by an incredibly fluid collective, some of whom had never met each other. It printed practically everything it got sent ("except poetry and party political broadcasts, provided it isn't racist, sexist, militarist or otherwise supportive of oppression"). 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 in five years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): at the "Stop the City" demonstration in Birmingham police arrive punctually to welcome protestors near the City Cathedral but nobody else turns up. "You can't expect anarchists to turn up on time," complains one exasperated senior officer. Acorn Bookshop gets its day in court but the magistrates need another month to read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers; one reader wonders whether the Rag really is Reading's Only Newspaper and another explains why; the Wobblies are strapped for cash; and that was no typographic error.

Many of the police seemed to have been stationed in Notts, before coming down to Greenham - some said they couldn't wait to go back! it seems they're allowed more of a freehand when they're dealing with the miners. There were a lot of women who were at Greenham for the first time. Some had come from abroad - mainly Germany and the USA - but a considerable number were from mining areas. Many had come with Miners Support Groups and there was a lot of discussion about the links between the two issues.