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 December 8th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 22nd..

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): under the heading "Living in Communes" (which shows how thoroughly anyone from the Rag read this article before printing it), there's a hand-written rant about - uhm - children's liberation. Our commune is a refuge for young people who escape from homes, psychiatric torture chambers and nazi parents... Children are not playthings for bored and lonely mothers to pamper. One of their demands: Our right to enjoy our own bodies and to choose who we mix with. No laws that punish loving sexual relationships among and with children.

The address given is Indianerkommune, Nurenberg, Germany; a cursory search nowadays links this organisation directly to a long-established "Paedophile Movement":

The Indianer Commune existed from 1976, firstly headquartered in Heidelberg, then in Nurenburg, calling itself a "children's rights initiative" and working in favour of paedophilic sex. (

Red Rag never (to my knowledge) fact-checked its stories. Doing so for this article, over the distances involved, would have been very difficult. But, whatever our individual involvements in this issue, we must acknowledge responsibility for the printing of a piece - neither challenged nor rebutted in later issues - which encouraged young, vulnerable people to put themselves in danger.