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 June 29th (scan / txt); the next one was due out on July 13th (but didn't turn up until September).

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

In this issue (scan / txt): it's Royal Wedding time, and the Rag pushes out the red carpet. It's also the 50th anniversary of the International Brigades: ten people from Reading volunteered - including the first British woman volunteer in Spain - and three of them were killed; surviving members of the Reading contingent are guests of honour at a memorial gathering in the Civic Centre. At Greenham Common Women's peace camp the Blue Gate nightwatch has plenty of vacancies; there's eating, drinking and dancing at Red Gate. And the next issue of Red Rag doesn't have a co-ordinator.