Problems on both sides of the Atlantic for Black Lives Matter

A UK Black Lives Matter activist who helped mastermind the protest which led to the toppling of a statute has been jailed in the UK for fraud. She was convicted of misusing over £30,000 in charitable donations to support her personal lifestyle. 

Xahra Saleem was a director of Changing Your Mindset, a charity for disadvantaged youths in Bristol. She previously denied taking money from a fundraising page set up before the toppling of Edward Colston’s statue but later padmitted one count of fraud.

In the US, February 2021, the BLM Foundation reported it had around $60 million in funds, most of which it collected in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Last year, California, Indiana, and the state of Washington in the USA ordered BLM to “immediately cease” all fundraising. The California Department of Justice has also threatened to hold the founders of BLM personally liable for all missing financial records. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita called the foundation a “scam” whose “house of cards may be falling.” 

Now many Black Lives Matter activists have taken to the streets across the U.S. in recent weeks to voice their support for pro-Palestinian causes, including calls against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and the U.S.-Israel alliance.

In Washington DC, the District of Columbia Mayor is freshening up its massive “Black Lives Matter” street mural even as the Black Lives Matter organization faces intense backlash for social media posts aligning with the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel earlier this month. 

That’s because BLM affiliates have expressed solidarity with the “resistance” against Israel, compared attacks on Israel to racial struggles within the U.S.; promoted imagery apparently depicting the paragliders who slaughtered Israeli concert-goers during the attacks, and more.

The controversial mural, commissioned by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser following rioting over the death of George Floyd, features the words “Black Lives Matter” painted in 50-foot-tall yellow letters along a two-block portion of 16th Street NW, just outside the White House. That area has been dubbed “Black Lives Matter Plaza” by the city. 

Republican lawmakers are pushing the Mayor to rename ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ because of the Israel conflict.