Tags: Media Bias | Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | election | meddling | protesters

Report: US Protesters Tricked Into Working for Russians

Report: US Protesters Tricked Into Working for Russians
Donald Trump supporter Samuel Henry argues with protestor Conrad Paul James outside the USCA Convocation center in Aiken, S.C., in December 2015. (Chris Thelen/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:24 PM

The Kremlin-linked "troll farm" that placed thousands of ads on Facebook in 2016 paid about $80,000 to remotely organize black rights protests and self-defense classes in U.S. cities in an attempt to sow fear ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Russian news outlet RBC reported Tuesday.

The Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg, recruited U.S. activists to help do its work. In one instance, activist Conrad James was contacted by someone running the BlackMattersUS Facebook page to organize rallies in Charlotte, N.C.

The BlackMattersUS page is linked to the IRA, reports RBC.

"I thought it was a knockoff of Black Lives Matter," James told BuzzFeed News, adding it "looked legit."

The group gave James a bank card to pay for expenses, and the permits for the event had already been set up.

Another activist, Omowale Adewale, was contacted about organizing self-defense training. The IRA created a self-defense group, "Black Fist," whose website reads, "Be ready to protect your rights . . . Let them know that Black Power Matters."

A man named Taylor approached Adewale about the setup, and advertised them through Facebook ads. Adewale told the New York Daily News that Taylor wanted photos and videos in return. He also paid Adewale $100 per class.

"It's really diabolical," Adewale said. "I detest Trump. This is like, obviously, it's very problematic for me to find out that it was Russians who were behind this . . . I think they had more of a long-term plan with it."

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The Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg, recruited U.S. activists to help do its work in an attempt to sow fear ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Russian news outlet RBC reported Tuesday.
election, meddling, protesters, internet research agency
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2017-24-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:24 PM
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