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Two women who organised a Black Lives Matter event in Exeter say they have received a torrent of abuse and even death threats as a result.

Maia Thomas and Sam Draper have told ITV West Country the most serious threats have been passed to the police, and they have vowed to continue campaigning.

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Maia (right) speaking at the rally in Exeter. Credit: ITV News

The event on Saturday 7 June attracted large crowds who demonstrated peacefully.

But Maia and her fellow organiser Sam were hit by a wave of abusive messages, some of which threatened their safety.

[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?'

Maia Thomas

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Maia says she will not be silenced by racists. Credit: ITV News

Some of the messages Maia has received through social media are also shocking.

They include 'White supremacy is the way forward' and 'white lives matter not blacks, so you need to be dealt with'.

The most serious threats have been passed to the police - and Maia insists she will not be silenced.

Sam (left) and Maia (right) say they are determined to speak up. Credit: ITV News

I wouldn't say I'm scared, but I'm more aware of my surroundings.

Maia Thomas

Mum of one Sam has also been targeted by people questioning why she is choosing to speak up.

[They say] why are you supporting a black person? And I'm like 'Why not? She's my friend'.

Sam Draper
Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez. Credit: ITV News

Devon's police commissioner says she is disgusted by the abuse.

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.

Alison Hernandez, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner