Back Issues

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Established 1979
20p! Fortnightly! Fun!
(cover illustration)

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 1987; the latest issue is dated January 13th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on the 27th.

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): the Job Destruction Agency comes to town; the Winter Solstice is celebrated at Stonehenge; a new 10 question "availability for work" test arrives and the Rag prints the answers; there's a demo in support of independent trade unions at GCHQ Cheltenham; maybe the Chatham Street carpark could be used as a playground; Red Rag readership has dropped by 90%; and there's something called Snorkmaster Grobblie.

The passengers in the passing buses sat with their faces glued to the windows. Here were hundreds of police with vans and horse, surrounding a group of people dancing and playing music. They were mystified. Was it a riot or a street party?