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 March 9th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 23rd.

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 elegant tabloid issue (scan / txt): An anniversary squat of the old Unemployment Benefit Offices in South Street provides accommodation and workshop space for International Womens Day, in advance of pending demolition to make way for 16 French cottage lookalike sheds. Weekly Saturday night mass pickets of Murdoch's Wapping plant (bring a packed lunch & warm woollens); whether or not to tell the Social that you're co-habitating; all that is dippy in the libertarian-chic milieu; and news that the Rag might fold due to lack of involvement and funding which is greeted enthusiastically by the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police. "These people have been getting up my nose for years with all their pranks. Now that they could be going, we can look forward to running things as we really want to."