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 September 1st (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 15th.
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 six years it had never sold a single copy.
In this issue (scan / txt): it might indeed be four years since the first women started camping at Greenham Common; and rumours that Red Rag has been Reading's Only for six whole years are quite reliable; but it's twenty years of Anarchist organisation in Reading that catch the headlines. Happy Birthday Doris! On Nagasaki Day a group of women break into A.W.R.E. Aldermaston (not the first time this has happened) and phone the Press Association to draw attention to the connection between the two places; the Women's Centre gets a three month reprieve; Social Security is under review; and evangelicals converge on Reading Abbey in an attempt to drive out covens, sects, and occult practices.
Despite malicious and dishonest statements by the Evening Drivel, no police presence will be required. If someone does think it becomes necessary, I am sure that they will be able to use a telephone kiosk like anyone else... The Drivel may hanker after a "Smash Stonehenge" operation; that took 18 months to plan, and it will take years to repair the damage to their "good name". To attempt anything similar in a large conurbation like Reading, with only a few weeks preparation would be the height of foolhardiness. Besides, "The Authorities" are of course checking all mail going to Box 19, and they can see as clearly as anyone that the Party is not a front for some insurrectionary outbreak, but just what we have said all along, a weekend of pleasure and creativity.