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 1985; the latest issue is dated February 17th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on March 3rd.

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 over five years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): in between the Greenham evictions, Molesworth blockades, Citizen Cain prize for the most interesting leak, new premises needed for the Women's Centre, Reagan setting the CIA on the Sandinistas, Real Time Video's newsletter, and Red Rag's computer problems: a sobering account of current understanding of a new sexually transmitted disease, and where you can go for help locally.

AIDS is caused by a virus, called LAV, which is thought to be passed on in two ways: during sex, or if a person comes into contact with infected blood. It is also possible that the AIDS virus is passed on through saliva, but there is no reason to think that the virus can be spread through the air or by touch.

It seems that not everyone who has the virus develops the symptoms of AIDS, but that everyone who does develop the symptoms dies, sometimes quickly, sometimes after two or more years. There is no immediate prospect of a cure for AIDS itself, although doctors are becoming more expert at treating the infections and illnesses which follow the failure of the immune system.