RED RAG (cover illustration)

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 April 6th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 20th.

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 and a half years it had never sold a single copy.

In this meaningful issue (scan / txt): the unemployed are exhorted to go on strike by withholding their availability for work. To have any impact this symbolic gesture must be carried out en masse. Once 4.5 million unemployed people have withdrawn their availability for work the government will have no choice but to continue paying the unemployed and so this single act of defiance is transformed into a concrete power held in the hands of the unemployed. No longer will we fear the government and its oppression. The unemployed will become aware of their own strength. From here it will be a short route to a realistic dole payment.