Back Issues

  • Get the Rag to your inbox
  • Red Rag
Established 1979
Free! Fortnightly! Fun!
(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 September 15th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 29th.

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): Acid rain is killing our fish and forests; getting the Central Electricity Generating Board to cut sulphur emissions by 60% in line with the EEC Directive would add 1 to the average annual electricity bill. In Reading, eleven people are arrested for suspected criminal damage whilst participating in the International Shadow Project on 6th August; Greenham Common Peace Camp celebrates its fourth birthday with nine Greenham Women appearing in Reading Magistrates Court, charged with entering Burghfield Royal Ordnance Factory; Red Rag celebrates its 6th birthday with the usual debt problems only more so, never having actually sold a copy; Reading Anarchists celebrate Doris' 20th; and apparently there's to be a 3rd Thames Contraceptive.

Noise, nuisance and dirt were her three concerns. Trains thundering past, Concorde daily disrupting our lives and she was asking about any noise we might make. The Gas Board hassling gypsies out of a home, the Royal Mail failing to deliver any letters to Box 19 for two weeks, British Telecom cutting somebody's phone for the weekend, and she asks about us being a nuisance! Sitting on a neglected litter- and shit-strewn publicly-owned ex-coal dump, and she asked about us creating dirt!