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 November 4th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 18th.

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 after much soul-searching a price had been put on the Rag's head...

In this issue (scan / txt): one of the men accused of killing Gurdip Kaur - her husband Gurbax Singh - is set free and campaigners plan a private prosecution; Reading's Labour-controlled Council is failing to deal with the continuing property development cancer smiting the town; the leak behind the Chronicle's sensationalised "Black Mum Slams Afro-Caribbean Education Scheme" came from a Community Education Officer whose job is to help Afro-Caribbean and Asian children with problems at school; the Thames Valley Police Consultative Committee hold a public meeting but no members of the public show up; Veggie Dining is back (again); in spite of warnings from Red Rag, the Berkshire County Council still hasn't fixed its computer security; John H will no longer be spending Saturday night pub times printing the Rag; and is anyone interested in helping to set up a housing co-op?

Reading is shaped, not inappropriately, like the symbol for radiation hazards. The gaps are the floodplains of the Thames and Kennet, suitable only for sewage farms, rock festivals, speedway and gravel extraction.