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 August 18th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on September 1st.

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 nearly six years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, human beings were instantly vaporized, leaving behind only their shadows. Early in the morning of August 6th 1985, people were hard at work whitewashing shadows onto Broad Street, as a memorial and as part of a project which spanned 100 towns in 17 countries. After an hour and a half (and three hundred shadows) the police showed up; they couldn't find any ringleaders; the cells had an incredible acoustic and the eleven arrested settled down to an extended vocal workshop. The two women charged with £60.76 damage to a fence at USAF Greenham Common plead guilty and are given a two years conditional discharge plus costs of £30, to be paid back at £2 a week; women in Reading now have a maximum of 6 weeks left at the Women's Centre in Old Shire Hall; and Doris is almost 20.