Red Rag - Back Issues - 1982

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This page lists the 1982 back issues of Red Rag. Each issue is available in two forms:

  • scan - choose this to see exactly what each issue looked like, but be prepared for 20MB downloads
  • txt - just the text - choose this for a much faster download or if you want to copy the text into any other form

You can also link from here to the introduction page for each issue.


  • January 10th

(scan / txt / intro)
Tame vicars and sump oil take a stand against the Bomb and "Pagans against Nukes" put in their first recorded appearance; there are initiatives to set up a federation of tenants and community groups, a silkscreen course for the unemployed, a socialist netball team, and an El Salvador Solidarity Campaign but probably not all at the same time; "French and Saunders of the Comic Strip" are performing in nearby Bracknell; and the alternative directory of Reading grows to one entry.

(front cover)
  • January 24th

(scan / txt / intro)
The behaviour of Reading police as shown in a BBC documentary starts a public outcry when officers bully and humiliate a rape victim; two doctors are referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for approving abortions other than on strict medical grounds; the Rag's reporter muses brilliantly on the workings of democracy at the Berkshire Anti-Nuclear Campaign; your rights when the police arrive at your door and ask to come in; and if the council didn't evict the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, how could they justify driving out the gypsies?

(front cover)
  • February 7th

(scan / txt / intro)
In the face of scant support from local anti-nuke organisations, the Women's Peace Camp at Greenham Common prepares for eviction proceedings; a hundred women march to protest about how Reading police treat rape victims, and make some pointed suggestions to the Chief Superintendent; a Rape Crisis Centre is to be set up; Reading's new Centre for the Unemployed opens; if word from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign is anything to go by, the PLO's demands were positively mild and Israel really should have gone along with them; and a reader responds to praise for a rocket attack on the construction site of a French nuclear power plant. No greater a gesture than a protest march... the very blunt aggressiveness of it is symptomatic of the patriarchal society we are trying to change.

(front cover)
  • February 21st

(scan / txt / intro)
Work on setting up the new Rape Crisis Centre starts and the police respond positively; the Women's Peace Camp at Greenham organises a "non-violent training weekend" while the Rag's own debate about non-violence in the anti-nuclear movement rumbles on, and even Solidarity has something to say about it; the Labour party considers how we're going to get out of the recession; Ordnance Survey publishes wholly fictitious maps so that international terrorists won't spot where the RAF is hiding its nukes; we drop a hint about not swimming in the Thames because it's radioactive; and Tory MP Sir William Straubenzee defies both logic (siting cruise missiles in Berkshire will not make us 'a more vulnerable target') and good manners (when challenged to discuss the matter in public).

(front cover)

Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification.

Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, their cynicism, their differentiation through hierarchy, their alienation, their reliance on others to do things for them and degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others - even by those allegedly acting on their behalf.

  • Minutes of collective meeting February 26th (scan / txt)
  • March 7th

(scan / txt / intro)
A reader sets the record straight about Torness; the County Council pass a resolution to ban fox hunting; rates in Reading are set to rise by over 33%; afternoon events on Mayday will centre around the theme of "new technology" and there will be computers to play with; and the typist can't read John's handwriting. Ever.

Having been lent a map of the site and a pair of bolt cutters they set out only to become lost. Unfortunately they panicked when a police car stopped to offer assistance and eventually got themselves arrested for trespassing on railway property. They were released without charge presumably on the principle that they represented a threat to no one but themselves.

(front cover)
  • March 21st

(scan / txt / intro)
Greenham Common hosts its first large Peace Festival; in the week that Thatcher declares war on crime we review the BBC's early fly-on-the wall "Police" series; more office blocks are to be built in the town centre (this hardly qualifies as news); for some reason the anarchists are compiling a list of empty properties; and the El Salvador Solidarity Campaign sets out its stall: in November 1980 four nuns in a rural part of the country were murdered by security forces which prompted the Carter administration to announce with much rhetoric about human rights - that it would suspend military aid to El Salvador. Military aid was soon quietly resumed after a few weeks when it was clear that the government could not survive against an ever growing opposition.

(front cover)
  • Minutes of collective meeting March 28th (scan / txt)
  • April 4th

(scan / txt / intro)
The Rag takes a number of sceptical looks at the Social Democratic Party and a critical one at local women's organisations, explains the Falklands crisis clearly and concisely, analyses everything from the latest crime detection statistics to the government's criticism of the Manpower Services Commission (did it really have liberal tendencies?), directs you to the best emporia in Reading for purchasing meat and fish, and carelessly appears to burned out both its Events and Going Out co-ordinators in the same week.

(front cover)
  • April 18th

(scan / txt / intro)
Red Rag's biggest ever issue carries six pages of replies to last time's article about the Women's Centre, explains the Malvinas crisis clearly and concisely, notes that brewing a cup of real coffee can be quite an eye-opener and so gives clear instructions which may or may not look familiar to current readers. The women arrested at Greenham last month (uhm, did we report that?) go on trial, a new peace camp is to open at nearby Burghfield, the Queen pays a visit, Raiders of the Lost Ark plus support is on at the ABC, Gladys Knight and the Pips play at the Hexagon (why oh why didn't I go to that one?) and Amazulu are down to headline for Mayday.

(front cover)
  • May 2nd

(scan / txt / intro)
As Barbara Cartland so properly says, "You are what you eat darlings", thus it befits the people of this country to equip themselves for the crisis by eating for the crisis; and so to stimulate your fighting instincts and your patriotic fervour we print recipes for "True Brit Rice Salad" and "Queen of the Islands Pudding". Back home, the National Front attack Reading's only gay pub; Thames Valley Police plan another film of a rape interview, this time using actors to get the correct message across; Burghfield Peace Camp is up and running; and Diogenes explains the workings of the Borough Council: "most of the talking is from the Labour side: they are the ones with beliefs after all, and the cause of the exploited at heart - and more to the point, they're in opposition."

(front cover)
  • May 16th

(scan / txt / intro)
With casualties in the South Atlantic escalating, local firm Sperry are less proud than before of their supply of arms to both sides. We reveal that the current British governor of the Falklands was ambassador to Egypt during the Suez Crisis. On the home front: the first independent Trade Union action against nuclear weapons since the early 60s comes to Greenham; there are rumours of a third Thames bridge (if only they can figure out what to bulldoze to make way for it); the International Crusade points a finger at our reporter; having the police pull you along the pavement by your ears is now an arrestable offence; and we explain a thing or two about the local anti-nuclear movement and some of the people involved.

(front cover)
  • May 30th

(scan / txt / intro)
As the body count piles up Maggie pays host to a friendly little visit from ex B-movie actor Ronald Regan and we reprint some of his choicest lines; the Greenham Common peace camp is evicted and sets up shop again just a few yards down the road, this time on MoD land; the Rape Crisis Line gets ready for its launch in July; Peter Watkins is to remake "The War Game"; Burghfield peace camp reports its first arrests; and the Pope's having trouble with his contacts.

We should declare war on North Vietnam. We could pave the whole place over by noon and be home for dinner.

(front cover)
  • June 13th

(scan / txt / intro)
250,000 people join a CND outing in Hyde Park and the Reading Anarchists (Special Boat Squadron Faction) swim the Serpentine; against stubborn opposition from the Labour Party, women march for the right to work, but the national media choose not to report this one; Radio 210 gives the impression that vegans advocate the destruction of all domestic pets; we list the steady diet of sex films showing at local cinemas but fail to comment on it; an undesirable element has a go at the Rape Crisis Line for holding their benefit gig at a venue which employs bouncers; and the Reading Legalise Cannabis Campaign rolls up for the last time.

(front cover)
  • June 27th

(scan / txt / intro)
Why was the university Women's Group disbanded? how many homeless people froze to death on the streets of Reading last winter? how much does raising money for the Rape Crisis line justify compromising its political credentials? what did the end of the Falklands War to do the dollar rate and which royal event kept that off the front pages? was the CIA really behind the Labour Party's rejection of nuclear disarmament? why does Red Rag look so different? and how could Emma Goldman even think of dancing if she lived so long ago?

(front cover)
  • July 11th

(scan / txt / intro)
Tempers flare when the "Cosmic Counter Cruise Freedom Festival" descends on Greenham Common; under the banner of "Homes not Offices" Reading Anarchists call a meeting to plan direct action on "homelessness" (i.e. squatting); the European Court of Justice rules that Britain is failing to enforce laws on equal pay for men and women; Showaddywaddy headline at the Hexagon; and a challenge to the Rag's new appearance: If the invention of the printing press inaugurated the bourgeois era, the time is at hand for its repeal by the mimeograph, the only fitting, the unobtrusive means of dissemination.

(front cover)
  • July 25th

(scan / txt / intro)
Part one of a chilling first hand account of life in a nearby psychiatric hospital; a guide to the new rules for claiming sickness benefit; an interview with Marion Sim, new chair of the Berkshire Anti-Nuclear Campaign; latest reports on people arrested for opposition to the war over the Falklands Islands/Malvinas; 25 excellent reasons for voting SDP; America's "Moral Majority" bans "Alice in Wonderland" and Reading's central library follows through by banning Red Rag; and on the back cover Bill & Ben's glorious "communiqué no. 1"...

What's all this crap in the Chronicle then? Who is this weed Absolom anyway? If all the money wasted on this patronising pantomime, this disgusting cover-up job in the bare concrete spaces of Reading can't be spent on housing why isn't he doing something about it? He's on the fucking council isn't he? He's got a nerve. What's he mean, the flowers "bring colour to what could otherwise be a very drab town"? These "flowers" only appear for a few weeks a year, and they hardly "brighten up the streets" 'cos they're all sickly greens and insipid whites. The one we picked had shrivelled to nothing within an hour - call that a flower? We love flowers - but we hate these cynical council bastards who pretend to make Reading "bloom" just for a competition. If someone wants to brighten up the island in the middle of the Junction, why don't they dig the fucking thing up? Reading sure as hell bloomed for the down and outs who froze to death on our streets last winter. Our slogan was not as printed "Houses before flowers" but...

       Homes Not Flowerpots!

(front cover)
(back cover)
  • August 15th

(scan / txt / intro)
In Amsterdam last week Alan Reeve, an ex Broadmoor patient, was recaptured after a year of 'freedom'. On Friday his friend Pat Ford walked into an Amsterdam police station with a lawyer. The nonsense on the right was some of what the Daily Star wrote on the subject. Red Rag's account is on page 2. Meanwhile, for most patients in Britain's mental hospitals, life goes on as normal. Normal for them, though, is humiliating and dehumanising treatment. The second part of our report on life in a nearby hospital, page 3.

(front cover)
  • September 5th

(scan / txt / intro)
Health workers plan a national day of action over pay; the Tebbit Act plans to end the closed shop and makes it illegal for unions to take seconday industrial action; Courage deny that there's any danger to the public from the asbestos dust drifting out of the old Brewery site; Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp is one year old; eviction of the Rainbow Peace Settlement outside the Green Gate is imminent; rumour has it that the first 70 cruise missiles have already arrived; Burghfield Peace Camp is low on support and will probably close later this month; Reading Police take a softly, softly approach at the Reading Festival (and so arrest 100 people, mainly for cannabis offenses); they have failed to get all their vehicles painted regulation colours and we print the registrations of some Ford Cortinas.

(front cover)
  • September 19th

(scan / txt / intro)
The TUC day of action over health workers' pay is this week: pickets, secondary walk-outs and a demonstration in London are planned; the County Council claims that cuts in its Social Services budget won't lead to redundancies; winter is on its way and the peace camps put out an appeal for supplies; planning starts for May Day '83; the damage done to Albion Fayres by the notorious Peace Convoy; the difficulties faced by a man trying to obtain contraceptives on the NHS; and a totally pointless article subtitled "Combating Racism In The Women's Movement" which is utter tripe and I do hope it gets jumped on next time.

(front cover)
  • Not Just A Student Guide

(scan / txt)
Welcome to Concrete City! Now for the first time the truth about Reading revealed by members of the totally unrepresentative Red Rag Collective. This guide is produced at short notice in, particular for the influx of students new to the town in Sept '82....

(front cover)
  • October 3rd

(scan / txt / intro)
The Peace Camps at Greenham are evicted and Acorn Bookshop's telephone goes dead for 48 hours: solidarity or sabotage? The Labour Party Conference is stirred into responding (to the former) and overwhelmingly passes a comprehensive motion on unilateral disarmament and nuclear free zones. Local participation in the NHS day of action was unimpressive; candidates for the Conservatives' cuts in Social Services are spelled out in detail; temperance, poetry, urban planning and pirate radio. And Red Rag's 4-page pullout guide to Reading "as distributed at the University on Thursday".

(front cover)
  • October 17th

(scan / txt / intro)
Police harass the Rainbow Camp at Greenham; how "Spies for Peace" infiltrated the 1963 Aldermaston march; we follow a nuclear convoy down the M4; a 25-foot peace symbol made up of daffodils is planted on the motorway embankment (not at the same time); the Militant faction of the Labour Party is short-sighted (can a legislated minimum wage help remove poverty?); the Militant faction is short-sighted (it won't admit that Labour can never be the Party of the Working Class); and Diogenes visits the Borough Council.

(front cover)
  • October 31st

(scan / txt / intro)
The Rainbow Peace Camp may have been evicted but it won't go away until everyone's collected their giros; the University Women's Group (branded as "unconstitutional" for excluding men from its weekly meetings) puts its case to the Union; Liberals on the borough council block moves for a night shelter; the government declares its intent to eradicate drug abuse by 1990; the growth of private medical care in Berkshire; the politics of the emerging video technology; Thames Valley Anarchists hold a bonfire to commiserate with the only person ever to enter Parliament with honest intentions; Ken Livingstone of the GLC is speaking at Henley; and one of the best conspiracy rants I've read for ages.

(front cover)

The power of these corporations is so great as to transcend all frontiers... We are witnessing a pitched battle between the great transnational corporations and sovereign states. For the fundamental political, economic and military decisions of these states are being interfered with by worldwide organisations that are not dependent on any state, and which, as regards the sum total of their activities, are not accountable to, nor regulated by, any parliament or institution representing the collective interest. In a word, the entire political structure of the world is being undermined.

  • Red Pages

(scan / txt)
Red Rag's Provisional Alternative Directory to the Reading Area: the complete low-down on everything that's going on, from the Unemployed Women's Group to Pagans Against Nukes to Educational Associations to Gay Soc to Amnesty International to Red Rag itself.

(front cover)
  • November 14th

(scan / txt / intro)
We examine the politics of women's self-defence and finally think to comment on the steady diet of X-rated films showing at the Odeon; an Observer's Guide to the Superior Bureaucracy of the Berkshire Anti-Nuclear Campaign; OAP bus passes are under threat as the Borough Council tries to meet government savings targets; a report on Halloween at Greenham Common; and "Red Pages", our excellent 8 page guide to alternative Reading.

(front cover)
  • November 28th

(scan / txt / intro)
There's a call for 10,000 women to link hands around the Greenham Common air base at the international women's day of protest; in case you can't make it but would like to do something else useful, we print a list of local suppliers with contracts at the base. A day of action is planned to protest about pornography in the emerging video industry. We consider the link between feminism and animal liberation, why getting involved in CND meetings can be so uninviting, and the history of Dutch and Belgian offshore pirate radio in the early 1960s. The Council debates the Rock Festival and finally approves a night shelter for the down and outs, there's a plan to set up a vegetarian dining project, and the Legalise Cannabis Campaign surveys patterns of use.

(front cover)
  • December 12th

(scan / txt / intro)
The Rag talks to local reggae band Urban Warrior about music, race, unemployment, Rastafarianism, culture and politics; the article is bannered on the front page as "Black news". It is estimated that 2 million council tenants will be worse off with the introduction of the new Unified Housing Benefit; 400 local people sign a petition protesting the Home Office's planned deportation of local resident Shehnaz Sheikh; Raymond Briggs' "When the Wind Blows" is on the shelves at Acorn; and Thursday is a not a good day for pirate radio as that's when the Home Office get their overtime in.

(front cover)
  • December 25th

(scan / txt / intro)
This issue of Red Rag was brought to you by those few members of the Red Rag collective whose revolutionary commitment extended to not observing bourgeois christian festivals. It was distributed more by luck than judgement and has undoubtedly become a rare collectors item. It was printed at a secret location and came to you by the magic of mimeo. It is being paid for by any means possible which means you lot have got to send cheques, giros used fivers etc. to the rag c/o Acorn, 17 Chatham street. The last cheque we wrote bounced, and our bank manager wants to see us to discuss the conduct of our account. This time we really do need money, or all rags will look like this.

(front cover)