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 since 2005, 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:

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

For some Manitobans, 'freedom' is just another word

It's Freedom to Read Week.

This Saturday, McNally Robinson Booksellers at Grant Park Mall is holding a 24 Hour Freedom to Read Marathon.

Starting at 10 a.m., readers will take turns, in 10 minute segments, reading "from books on the challenged book lost or an article or essay about censorship."

They won't read from Western Standard magazine.

McNally Robinson Booksellers has banned Western Standard magazine during Freedom to Read Week.

Promoters say Freedom to Read week encourages Canadians "to reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom."

Bookstore owner Paul McNally says he'll decide what intellectual freedom is and he's willing to censor reading material if that's what it takes.

From the Freedom to Read website


Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border. Books are removed from the shelves in Canadian libraries, schools and bookstores every day. Free speech on the Internet is under attack. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read.

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