One of several Twin Cities protests four days after the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile 16 months ago may have been organized in part by Russian hackers, according to national media accounts, before skeptical local organizers took over.The locals are "skeptical":
The reports by CNN and the Wall Street Journal alleged that Russian agents were behind eight Facebook accounts that publicized or financed at least 60 rallies in the United States, including one in the Twin Cities on July 10, 2016. The Journal said it examined archived versions of now-deleted Facebook posts and interviewed activists familiar with the events.
Some local activists said Tuesday they didn’t believe it was Russians promoting the demonstration. Instead, they said, out-of-state protesters were trying to meddle.The IWW would know. Everyone knows the Wobblies have nothing to do with the Russians.
One of the Facebook pages, hosted by a group called “Don’t Shoot,” publicized a demonstration scheduled for that day outside St. Paul police headquarters, recalled Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality. She and other organizers were suspicious, saying St. Paul police were not involved in the Castile shooting, and that no one had heard of the group. “This was pretty crazy,” Gross said. “Who was calling this?”
The local General Defense Committee (GDC) of the International Workers of the World (IWW) and Gross’ group worried that protesters might not be safe, and both posted notices urging people not to attend.