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:

Monday, March 31, 2008

Winnipeg's Gang Violence Spreads from Crib to Community

Winnipeg's Thug Life underworld has just claimed three more victims. But it's not the number, it's the escalation of violence that should send fear throughout the city.

Five months ago, The Black Rod exposed the links between six murder victims and local gangs that have styled themselves after the Bloods and Crips of Los Angeles. See the whole story at

Each victim was either a member of a gang or a close associate. But the latest murder victims were neither. Only one had a loose association to a gang as far as we can tell so far.

In other words, the violence has spread beyond the gang world into the general community.

Gang members and their associates are now living the life they see in gangsta rap videos and movies where shootouts are not only commonplace, they're expected.

There's not even an attempt to keep from killing innocents anymore.

The three people shot to death in an Alexander Avenue house had simply been attending a birthday party, according to press accounts, when masked gunmen stormed the place, shooting people at random. Apparently, the thugs had been told to get out of a party they had not been invited to.

CBC Television caught on that one victim, 22-year-old Corey Keeper, had a Bebo page. (Bebo, for the uninitiated, is a social networking website like Facebook) They used photos of Keeper from the page in their story on the murders.

Had they reported everything they found, they would have painted a fuller picture of Corey Keeper, starting with his posting of a stylized W, the gang symbol for Westside.

His bio contains the now-ironic reference to his residence:

Hometown L.G.R n Murda Cap-P.

L.G.r is Little Grand Rapids, (in) Murda Cap -- as in the murder capital of Canada. Winnipeg. The title is worn as a badge of honour in the world of Thug Life.

Keeper introduces himself:

Well this year i finelly graduated an now i'm jus chilling an working
and training 4 the future
So let me introduce myself my name is Corey Keeper he who walk's the line all fine so i like to say is...i come from a small town by the name of Little Grand Rapids where everybody know's everybody so it's hard to get the paper going... becus there r so many snitches .so this is wat i got say is...
i'm the one that hold's the reefer in my hand...
i'm he who run's with the wolfs
i'm he who play's with the bears
i'm just as loyle as the eagles
so if you wit me join the Anishinaabe Revolution
an if u againts me you best be ready
cause i'm like the water in a pale
constanly flowing out do know when it's goin stop
just like i'm
so you could say i'm nsane but not fcuk up...i still know want i'm going to do
so peace out people

He lists his favourite movies, with the lessons each taught him:

Films: God father y? business is business.............
scarface y? the world is your's..........
blood in & blood out y? "go after what you want" ....................
the sopranos y? str8 up...........
Never Back Down y? the fighting..........
goodfella's y? got to stay in tact........
Enter da dragon y? fighting...........
Tender&Hustle y? being youself is better then being Someone else.........

He posts on the Bebo pages of his friends, bragging about his casual drug use, another badge of honour for gang members and associates.

Cray Kpr
wat up carlo's wat u been up to man??????????
since yellow Quill????????
me i chilling on a blu#t.........

He takes a survey, which includes the question:

What Weapon Best Suits Your Personality?

The answer:


Your brutal and straightforward personality is best fit to use a Sledgehammer. This powerful weapon has poor accuracy due to its weight, but what the heck - it's easy to use! You don't have to aim, you just smash it. And even if you miss, it intimidates your opponent very well.

But apart from the Westside symbol, his closest tie to the Thug Life appears in his list of Friends.

His friends include Northsyda who links to 2krazy4you-113 who is contacted by ChristopherA958 whose Bebo page contains the slogan:


Bloods up, Crips down.

One of the war cry's of the Winnipeg gang world.

Until now, residents in gang-infested parts of the city could take some comfort in knowing the gang members only killed each other, and it was an accident whenever someone was shot or killed in a drive-by or, as in the case of Phil Hiarart, when he wandered into the middle of a shootout.

In an attempt to prevent this sort of random carnage, the major Los Angeles gangs hammered out a 26-point code for Thug Life:

1. All new Jacks to the game must know: a) He's going to get rich. b) He's going to jail. c) He's going to die.

2. Crew Leaders: You are responsible for legal/financial payment commitments to crew members; your word must be your bond.

3. One crew's rat is every crew's rat. Rats are now like a disease; sooner or later we all get it; and they should too.

4. Crew leader and posse should select a diplomat, and should work ways to settle disputes. In unity, there is strength!

5. Car jacking in our Hood is against the Code.

6. Slinging to children is against the Code.

7. Having children slinging is against the Code.

8. No slinging in schools.

9. Since the rat Nicky Barnes opened his mouth; ratting has become accepted by some. We're not having it.

10. Snitches is outta here.

11. The Boys in Blue don't run nothing; we do. Control the Hood, and make it safe for squares.

12. No slinging to pregnant Sisters. That's baby killing; that's genocide!

13. Know your target, who's the real enemy.

14. Civilians are not a target and should be spared.

15. Harm to children will not be forgiven.

16. Attacking someone's home where their family is known to reside, must be altered or checked.

17. Senseless brutality and rape must stop.

18. Our old folks must not be abused.

19. Respect our Sisters. Respect our Brothers.

20. Sisters in the Life must be respected if they respect themselves.

21. Military disputes concerning business areas within the community must be handled professionally and not on the block.

22. No shooting at parties.

23. Concerts and parties are neutral territories; no shooting!

24. Know the Code; it's for everyone.

25. Be a real ruff neck. Be down with the code of the Thug Life.

26. Protect yourself at all times..

When you mix irresponsibility with guns, you get cold-blooded murder and the innocent be damned.

The snows of winter haven't even melted and there's a bull market in gun deaths, right here in Winnipeg.

How high will the market go in the heat of summer?

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