The page solicited money from its members, which was funnelled into Australian bank accounts
10 Abril 2018 12:53
A prominent Australian union official has been suspended after reports surfaced suggesting he ran a fake Black Lives Matter Facebook page that solicited donations from the movement’s supporters.
CNN reported that Ian MacKay, a white man and an official with the National Union of Workers, helped run a Facebook page called Black Lives Matter, alongside a number of domain names linked to black rights and activist movements.
And his campaign of faux black activism pulled in thousands of followers. The page, which was removed by Facebook after CNN’s investigations, had almost 700,000 followers – more than double the official Black Lives Matter page.
The NUW’s national secretary, Tim Kennedy, told The Guardian that the union had launched an investigation into the claims. He said the union had suspended ‘the relevant officials pending the outcome of an investigation’.
In 2015, Mackay was appointed vice president of the NUW’s general branch and the union’s public office records state that he still holds the position.
The investigation quoted sources who said the page may have garnered upwards of $100,000 in donations, at least some of which was directed to bank accounts registered in Australia.
The bank accounts were tied to online donations that supposedly went to Black Lives Matter causes in the US. At least some of the money, however, was transferred to Australian bank accounts, CNN reported.
Fundraising campaigns associated with the Facebook page were suspended by PayPal, Donorbox, Classy, and Patreon after news of the investigation came to light.