Back Issues

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Established 1979
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(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 1985; the latest issue is dated May 26th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on June 9th.

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 five and a half years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): Bracknell anarchists run a 24 hour squat in the old cinema and 300 people turn up to watch a film, play with paints, and enjoy a 5-band gig; the following weekend there's another gig at the same venue but with different organisers and this time the event is unashamedly money making. It'll take ten years to build a £75 million road system through Reading that will only cope with five years' worth of rush hours for the 40% of Berkshire who travel by car; we remember the fuss about the possible links between the Pill and cervical cancer; Reading Borough Council notices that advertising for playworkers in Reading's Only might result in some very undesirable characters working with Reading's children; a revolution which fails to make the reinvention of everyday life its central aim will leave us standing in paradise (or: why not to declaim at your houseplants); and Laura was unhappy about her letter not being printed in the last issue and has written a letter to complain, but we haven't printed that either.