Black Lives Matter nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
The racial equality movement that sparked global protests in the wake of the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor was put forward by Norwegian Member of Parliament Petter Eide.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for "bringing forward a new consciousness and awareness about racial justice." The movement was founded in 2013 but grew to worldwide prominence in the summer of 2020 in the wake of the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
The nomination was made by Norwegian Member of Parliament Petter Eide who likened Black Lives Matter to previous racial justice movements like the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the South African anti-apartheid movement. Both of which resulted in Nobel Peace Prizes, for Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela respectively.
What is the history of Black Lives Matter?
The BLM movement was at the centre of the racial justice protests that spread through the US and the rest of the world last year, but its origins go back much further. The movement was co-founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, who used the hashtag ‘BlackLivesMatter’ to issue a call to action against racially motivated violence.
Its inception came in the wake of the killing of unarmed African-American teen Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of the shooter, George Zimmerman. In follower years the movement was involved in protests after the police killings of other Black Americans, including Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
The movement really grabbed international attention in 2020 in the aftermath of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. It is thought that around 20 million people took part in Black Lives Matter protests in the US alone, images of which sparked further demonstrations and greater awareness around the world.
Earlier this week the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation was also awarded Sweden's Olof Palme Human Rights Prize for 2020. Upon announcing the award, organisers praised the movement for encouraging "peaceful civil disobedience against police brutality and racial violence".
Who is Norwegian MP Petter Eide?
The nomination for BLM comes from Norwegian Member of Parliament Petter Eide, who said of his decision: "To carry forward a movement of racial justice and to spread that to other countries is very, very important. Black Lives Matter is the strongest force today doing this, not only in the US but also in Europe and in Asia.”
As a member of a national parliament Eide is able to submit a 2,000-word nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. This privilege is also open to members of national governments, members of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, university professors and a series of other groups associated with the Prize.
The deadline for submission this year is 1 February, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee will produce a shortlist by the end of March. Nominations will then be considered and a winner will be decided in October, with an awards ceremony held on 10 December.