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 November 24th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on December 8th.

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): the Government's proposals on Public Order include a possible power for a police authority to claim the costs of policing a demonstration from organisers who have breached conditions imposed by the police; the last Rag carried a paid ad which included the Co-op and CRS logos and the slogan "people who care", but unfortunately the Co-op doesn't care enough to topple itself from the position of the U.K.'s largest importer of South African fruit; and seventy women march twice through Reading to Reclaim the Night: first along with the "necessary" police escort, and then after the police have gone home on a second demonstration which stops more traffic, makes more noise, and draws more attention to the marchers and their demands.