Reporting scenes and blasting off

Instead of taking a definite political stance IT and OZ were eclectic. Over the years (IT ran from 1966 to 1986 and Oz from 1967 to 1973) they gave space to a bewildering range of countercultural ideas, from pacifist mysticism to militant radicalism. Oz handed over editorial power for 'single issue' issues of the magazine, including women's liberation, gay liberation, (notoriously), 'school kids' and (curiously) alien enthusiasts.

The first edition of International Times called for updates on the latest scenes:

If you have anything to report on or blast off about from your part of the world, please do send it to us.

Radical groups communicated through the underground press: The militant Angry Brigade posted its communiques, which claimed responsibility for (often violent) direct action against government, directly to International Times.

When London Situationists fly-posted an anti-hippy comic strip on the office door of International Times the editors printed it on the paper's cover with the following note:

'Our front page is a found object. We found it flyposted to the building that houses our offices. It bears no printer's or publisher's imprint. One of our number said the use of the word 'Bar'in its particular setting suggests an American hand...the STOP-IT COMMITTEE? THE GROSVENOR SQUARE MACHINE GUN GANG? (or has everybody forgotten?) or some LONE ANARCHIST NITE MARAUDER? In any case we applaud the poster's instructive as opposed to merely decorative function. Artificial colouring added by publisher. One word partly altered by printer. Shame! THE EDITOR

Whether or not their misunderstanding of the movement behind, and intention of, the flyposting was genuine they later printed the following letter of explanation without comment:

'Dear IT,

The front page of IT no 26 is the work of the International Situationists, with altered lettering and translated captions. Watch out you may find the kids stealing IT too.

Yours with fire and drums,

The Random Banana'.