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 1986; the latest issue is dated February 23rd (scan / txt); the next one is due out on March 9th.

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 over six years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): With all-party support the Drug Trafficking Offences Bill defines sharing illegal drugs as "possession with intent" and compels judges to confiscate all property held by the defendant within the last five years; Nicholas Fairburn MP hopes that the Obscene Publications Bill will prevent people from watching "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"; the private shop on Southampton Street is picketed for Valentine's Day; staff at the Chronic have been reduced to the wretched (and illegal) practice of making up artwork by photocopying pages of the Letraset catalogue and cutting out the required letters; there could be more confusion; and Oxfam stops banking at Barclays.