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 March 3rd (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 17th.
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 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. An indispensible source of local information? a forum for the self-indulgent and self-important? a continuous experiment in collective, de-centralised organisation? Who knew? But in over five years it had never sold a single copy.
In this issue (scan / txt): one year into miner's strike is marked with a brace of benefit gigs and a march in London; we also note the anniversary of the Kronstadt rebellion of 1921. (March 5th: Trotsky arrives in Petrograd. Aircraft drop leaflets on Kronstadt ordering the population to surrender at once or "be shot like partridges".) The Greenham Support Group celebrates International Women's Day by organising Veggie Dining; after the government's show of muscle at last month's overnight invasion of Molesworth peace camp the Easter demo there may be even bigger; and a small cavalcade proceeds onto a snowy Salisbury Plain in search of the Cruise Missile Convoy hidden nearby (pretending to have melted into the British countryside, as Heseltine would have us believe).
We joined hands (no, not with the soldiers, who were too busy).