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 September 23rd (scan / txt); the next one is due out on October 7th.

Red Rag, or Reading's only newspaper, had a noble tradition of misspelling, mixed metaphors, wrong facts, confused political judgements and a readership in its heyday 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? In its first seven years it never sold a single copy. But now all this was going to change...

In this issue (scan / txt): after a long summer break, without enough people to write and produce the paper, or enough money to pay its bills, Red Rag celebrates its seventh birthday. Starting next issue, it will cut its print run back from 1600 to 300, lose most of its outlets, stop delivering door-to-door, and charge 20p per copy. "Despite much reluctance and resistance," it says here.