A high-ranking Australian union official has been suspended amid reports he ran a fake Black Lives Matter Facebook page that solicited donations from the movement’s supporters.
CNN reports that Ian MacKay – an official with the National Union of Workers – helped set up and run a Facebook page called Black Lives Matter as well as other domain names linked to black rights.
The page, which was removed by Facebook after CNN’s queries, had almost 700,000 followers – more than double the official Black Lives Matter page.
MacKay – who is white – did not respond to calls or emails but denied running the page when contacted by CNN.
A statement given to the Guardian by the NUW’s national secretary, Tim Kennedy, said the union had launched an investigation into the claims made in the CNN report.
He said the union had suspended “the relevant officials pending the outcome of an investigation”.
“The NUW is not involved in and has not authorised any activities with reference to claims made in CNN’s story,” he said.
The Guardian understands MacKay and one other NUW official has been suspended.
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.
via the Guardian