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Black Lives Matter activists say FBI told them not to protest GOP Convention

Prominent civil rights activists closely associated with the Black Lives Matter movement say members of the FBI have attempted to contact them in the days leading up to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Samuel Sinyangwe and Johnetta Elzie, co-founders of Campaign Zero, an organisation that aims to end police violence through policy change, both told The Independent that FBI agents made attempts to contact them in recent days.

Mr Sinyangwe, 25, said that he received a phone call on Friday from an unknown number. The caller identified himself as an FBI task force officer.

“He was interested to hear my plans related to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland,” he said. “I told him I don’t have any plans to go to the convention.”

The agent told Mr Sinyangwe, according to his account, that the Bureau had received threats that posed a potential risk and “they are discouraging activists from going to the convention, and he told me not to go.”

Delegates are expected to cast their votes in favour of Donald Trump at the convention, which begins 18 July. Mr Trump’s campaign has galvanised the enthusiasm of white supremacist groups – such as California Neo-Nazis, who plan on attending the convention. Mr Trump’s outspoken contempt for undocumented immigrants, Muslims, and the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked protests at his rallies across the country.

“I think the FBI should be more concerned with investigating and dissuading the known white supremacists and people with ties to known terrorist organisations from attending the convention, versus trying to intimidate people who are speaking out against injustice,” Mr Sinyangwe said.

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