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 1984; the latest issue is dated August 12th (scan / txt); the next one is due out on September 2nd.

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 pretty well everything it got sent ("unless the Collective judged it racist, sexist, right wing, supportive of oppressive religions, or boring"). 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. And in four and a half years it had never sold a single copy.

In this issue (scan / txt): Fifteen women go on trial, charged with causing criminal damage to the perimeter fence at Greenham Common Air Base in July 1983; most of them end up in jail either for refusing to pay their fine, or because the Peace Camp is deemed not to be a fixed address for purposes of enforcing fines; questions about police brutality and surreptitious photos and video recordings made by MoD and Thames Valley Police remain unanswered. Citizen Cain names the twelve Tory Borough Councillors who have yet to enter their financial interests in the public register kept for that purpose; they are: Cllrs. Jewitt (yes, the Mayor), Palmer, Pugh, Mills, Browne, Dicker, Bale, Pearson, Irwin, Markham, Kirk and Irwin. The Miners Support Group's food collection trolley outside Tesco's solicits tins of baked beans without a permit and this constitutes Begging for Alms upon the Queen's Highway; a delightful little booklet chronicling the reaction in Newbury to Cruise Missiles, and the Greenham peace camp is withdrawn from sale in the town under threats of libel; the peace campers at Boscombe Down are looking for wirecutters (to prune the roses?); and the Hexagon reopens after its summer break: "RR concessions available" it says - could it be?...

But perhaps as the rest of Newbury's honest folk fester amongst the radioactive piles of rubble that mark their little town, they might reflect on the value of their obsession with house prices and rates.