Jan 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Black Lives Matter movement nominated for 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

Photo of protesters holding signs that denounce racism and police brutality

Protestors take part in a Black Lives Matter march outside the Parliament building in Oslo, Norway in solidarity with U.S. protests over the death of George Floyd. Photo by Stian Lysberg Solum/AFP via Getty Images

The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for compelling countries around the world to address systemic racism.

Why it matters: The BLM movement launched in 2013 following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager. The case kickstarted the international movement to address the controversial deaths of Black people, particularly at the hands of police.

  • The group has "been able to mobilise people from all groups of society, not just African-Americans, not just oppressed people ... in a way which has been different from their predecessors," Nobel nominator Norwegian MP Petter Eide said, per the Guardian.

Background: The BLM movement was co-founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi.

What he's saying: "It’s a strong linkage between antiracism movements and peace, and a recognition that without this kind of justice, there will be no peace and stability in the society," Eide said.

  • Of note: He dismissed criticism that BLM is violent, citing data that shows 93% of Black Lives Matter demonstrations do not cause serious harm to people or property.
  • "Awarding the peace prize to Black Lives Matter, as the strongest global force against racial injustice, will send a powerful message that peace is founded on equality, solidarity and human rights, and that all countries must respect those basic principles," Eide concluded.

The big picture: Last year's Nobel prize recognized the World Food Program in a pointed assertion that multilateralism is saving lives. This year's winner will be selected in October and the award ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 10.

Go deeper: Deaths without consequences

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