Death threats and racist abuse against two women who organised a Black Lives Matter event in Exeter have been reported to the police.
More than 400 people gathered at Flowerpot Playing Fields in Exwick on June 7 for the event named Exeter Peaceful Protest Against Racism (George Floyd).
However, organisers Maia Thomas and Sam Draper have endured a wave of abusive messages, some of which threatened their safety.
The most serious threats have been passed to the police, and they have both vowed to continue campaigning.
Maia told ITV News: [I have had] death threats, messages saying ‘You’re pretty for a black girl, why don’t you use your looks instead of your voice?’
“Messages like, ‘I’m going to throw smoke grenades at you’, saying they are going to attack me. I have to have security in Exeter when I’m at work now.
“So even though this is a good movement, it has put my safety in danger.”
On social media, Maia has received messages which include ‘white supremacy is the way forward’ and ‘white lives matter not blacks, so you need to be dealt with’.
Maia said: “I wouldn’t say I’m scared, but I’m more aware of my surroundings.
“I would rather have to be aware of my surroundings and have my voice heard and have a movement happen than sit back and say nothing.
“If people feel the need to threaten my life just because I want my voice to be heard and to have equal treatment, then I need to do this.”
Mum of one Sam has also been targeted by people questioning why she is choosing to speak up.
She said: “[They say] why are you supporting a black person? And I’m like, ‘why not? She’s my friend’.
“I’m a privileged white woman, I don’t have to go through what Maia and other people have to go through. It shouldn’t be like that.”
Devon’s police and crime commissioner says she is disgusted by the abuse.
Alison Hernandez told ITV News: “It’s absolutely disgraceful. I want people to stand up for what they believe in, and I will fundamentally support people whatever their view to have the right to say it, and to organise around it.”