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BLM organiser is charged with fraud involving fundraiser linked to the movement


One of the organisers of the Black Lives Matter demonstration that saw the toppling of Edward Colston's statue has been charged with fraud over a fundraiser linked to the protest movement.

Xahra Saleem, 22, will appear before magistrates in Bristol in January charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position after an investigation into a fundraiser linked to the BLM movement.

Avon and Somerset Police investigated a GoFundMe page called 'BristBLM' initially set up for the demonstration on June 7, 2020 after donation money allegedly went missing.

The fundraiser was intended to raise cash for Changing Your Mindset, which was a youth group based in the St Pauls area of Bristol.

Saleem additionally faces charges relating to a Crowdfunder page, 'Bristol Protestors Legal Fees', which raised money for people facing criminal proceedings after the city's protests.

Four people were cleared in court of causing criminal damage in January this year after protests in June 2020 saw the toppling of the statue of 18th Century slave trader Colston.

The depiction was thrown into Bristol harbour during the protests following the death of black man George Floyd in the US.

Saleem describes herself as a screenwriter and was a co-founder of the All Black Lives Bristol group created after the demonstrations.

She was named among 30 of the most influential under-30s in Bristol by Rife Magazine last year.

In a statement, an Avon & Somerset Police spokesman said: 'A woman is due in court at the start of next year after the Crown Prosecution Service authorised charges following a fraud investigation.

'Xahra Saleem, 22 and from East London, has been charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position.

'She is due before Bristol Magistrates Court on Tuesday 3 January 2023.'