Organiser of the Black Lives Matter protest that saw Edward Colston statue toppling charged with fraud

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The 22-year-old was named among the 30 most influential under 30s in the UK following the protest in June 2020 - but will appear before magistrates in January

One of the organisers of the Black Lives Matter demonstration that saw the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol has been charged with fraud over money that allegedly went missing from a crowdfunder linked to the protest. Xahra Saleem, one of the co-founders of the All Black Lives Bristol movement who was also named among 30 of the most influential under-30s by Rife Magazine last year, will appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court in January charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position.

It comes after Avon and Somerset Police investigated funds that allegedly went missing from a crowdfunder set up for the demo which took place on June 7 2020. The money allegedly went missing from a GoFundMe page called BristBLM for Changing Your Mindset, a youth group based in the St Pauls area of Bristol.

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A statement from the force read: “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 January 3, 2023.”

All Black Lives Bristol was created after the protest saw the Colston statue toppled in 2020 and was set up to distinguish its members from another Black Lives Matter group in Bristol that was already in existence. Saleem, aged 22, co-founded the group with others who it is not suggested are involved in any crime.

It is not clear if the group is still active as no new posts have appeared on its social media channels since 2021.

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