The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Friday, May 20, 2005

CBC Confirms our Dumas exclusive / Support your local Bandidos

The Black Rod has learned that CBC television news has taped an interview confirming our exclusive story that Matthew Dumas was seen fighting with police in the back lane to Dufferin Avenue moments before he was shot to death.

But the CBC has chosen to suppress the information.

Our source, a CBC insider who is extremely familiar with their coverage of the Dumas shooting, has seen the tape and provided us with quotes.

This shocking information underscores how the mainstream media, like the CBC, act as self-appointed gatekeepers of information, releasing only that which supports their agenda. In this case the CBC agenda is to portray the police as villains who failed to act properly and handcuff Matthew Dumas when they had the chance and forestall the need to shoot him.

However, the evidence uncovered by The Black Rod, and now confirmed by the CBC, shows that Dumas was initially taken into custody by a lone policeman who found him hiding in a back yard. The teen was led back to the lane where the police officer came from and it was there, seconds later, that he was seen fighting with police officers. He broke free and led them on a chase and it was only then that police drew their guns, leading to the final, fatal confrontation.

A further slur by the CBC's coverage of the story is on the residents of the area who are portrayed as supporting the anti-police rhetoric of so-called native "leaders" who latched onto the shooting of Dumas to advance their own purposes. The Black Rod found this to be a slanted and inaccurate representation of the people who live in the community.

The news that the CBC prefers to knowingly present an inaccurate account of what happened between Matthew Dumas and the police proves how important bloggers like The Black Rod have become to the news gathering process. It may also explain why CBC's ratings have plummetted to 17,000 viewers, a shade ahead of A-Channel.


Still on the topic of crime, The Black Rod has learned that the Bandidos contingent in Winnipeg has grown to equal or surpass the number of Hell's Angels here.

There are currently up to 20 Bandidos members in the city, including some from Quebec, where the gang The Rock Machine flipped and adopted Bandido's colours on a probationary basis five years ago. Others are long-time Winnipeg bikers who have had their own battles with local Hell's Angels members.

But the Bandidos intend to uphold a worldwide truce between the gangs. They are keeping a low profile, reluctant even to show their Bandidos patches to avoid attracting the authorities.

But it appears they are just biding their time. They hold the local Hell's Angels in contempt, seeing them as weak and disorganized, and they have begun to set up their own "puppet club" just as the Hell's Angels have the Zig Zag Crew. This does not bode well.

Only a year ago Police Sgt. Cam Baldwin revealed that the value of cocaine trafficking in Winnipeg has reached an estimated $5 million a month. That's a month. And that's a tasty target for a new gang in town.

The expansion of the Bandidos in Winnipeg is another sign of the abject failure of the NDP to stop gang activity in the province.

Stop it? Hell, they can't even control it. Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh, aka Minister Huff-and-Puff, believes the best defence is an offence - of news releases and press conferences, where he gets to tell the public what he's going to do. Unfortunately, talk doesn't scare the gangs.

Last spring, MLA Greg Dewar was positively giddy as he spoke in the Legislature about the wonderful things the NDP was doing to fight gangs. (We guess Minister Huff-and-Puff was at a seminar on news release writing.) Dewar was speaking about something called the Criminal Organizations Deterrence Act, which was---you guessed it---going to deter criminal organizations from setting up in Manitoba.

Dewar mocked the Filmon Tories for spending $3.5 million on turning a seed plant into a courthouse to prosecute gang members. Somehow he forgot to mention that all those members of the Manitoba Warriors pleaded guilty to avoid going to trial in that courthouse, even as the NDP rallied around them. He also forgot to mention that the Manitoba Warriors regrouped under the NDP, to be joined by the Hell's Angels, and now the Bandidos.

No, Dewar wanted to talk about the NDP's new approach to fighting gangs.

We believe, Mr. Speaker, that we should have a holistic approach to organized crime, not like the Tories, who simply would build this big courthouse in Southdale, or south Winnipeg, which now sits vacant, a waste of valuable tax dollars, he said.

We now see the fruits of that "holistic approach" and we shudder.

It's a sad commentary on the state of things when we read that the province has to put sheriff's officers into virtual hiding, with special security around them because of threats from two prisoners linked to the Bandidos.

It used to be that criminals hid from authorities. Not any longer, not under Minister Huff-and-Puff's administration.

And imagine how high this puts the stock of the Bandidos. Their members are charged with cutting off the finger of someone who owed them money, and with scaring the pants off sheriff's officers.

The Hell's Angels? Wimps. One member is charged with punching a bus driver---a bus driver! Another Hell's Angels member was shot in the leg and had to be rescued by a hanger-on. Then, a few months later, the same gang member got beat up by a guy fresh out of high school and had to get his pals to gang up three-on-one on the tough guy. When the police broke up the attempted abduction, the tough guy refused to cooperate with them, showing his own contempt for the red-and-white.

It would be funny, except that the Bandidos can't help but see how pathetic the Hell's Angels are, how impotent Minister Huff-and-Puff is, and how great the opportunities to take over the drug trade are. It may be a long, hot summer yet.

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