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 September 29th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on October 13th.

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 Radical Chic issue (scan / txt): it's been suggested that the police deliberately left Lozells Road to the Handsworth rioters for several hours: quite acceptable if damage was only done to the "problem" area's own facilities and fabric; and anyway most businesses in the area were small, asian-owned, and politically expendable. The new Thames Residents and Business Association pledges to fight the proposed Third Thames Bridge; Doris's party passes off with three minor injuries dealt with by first aid and no arrests; the Ecology Party renames itself as the Green Party; a creche network is not just an easy option for the ideological credibility of those lacking plausible oppression; and for the first time ever Red Rag is out of debt.