THE Black Lives Matter movement has reportedly been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize – even though some have linked it to violence at rallies.
In nomination papers on Friday, Norwegian MP Petter Eide said the movement has advanced the fight against racism globally, and dismissed critics’ claims that the group spurred violence, The Guardian reported.
Black Lives Matter was nominated for the Nobel Peace PrizeCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Norwegian MP Petter Eide nominated Black Lives Matter for the Nobel Peace PrizeCredit: AFP – Getty
“Studies have shown that most of the demonstrations organized by Black Lives Matter have been peaceful,” Eide wrote.
“Of course there have been incidents, but most of them have been caused by the activities of either the police or counter-protestors.”
The majority of Black Lives Matter demonstrations, 93 per cent, did not involve serious harm to people or property, according to September 2020 data compiled by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.
However, a Morning Consult poll in June found that 42 per cent of respondents think most protesters associated with Black Lives Matter intend to incite violence or destroy property, the project noted.
Norwegian MP Petter Eide said most Black Lives Matter protests have been peacefulCredit: EPA
Eide, who represented the Socialist Left party, stressed that he did not want his nomination to be taken as commentary on American politics.
Rather, he said that Black Lives Matter has become a “very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice.
“I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality,” Eide said.
The Nobel Peace Prize has previously been awarded to individuals who fought against racismCredit: AP:Associated Press
The Norwegian politician said he was impressed with the movement’s ability to mobilize not just blacks but people from all groups and that it has been broad “in a way which has been different from their predecessors.”
Eide concluded that “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.”
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin.
The movement grew the following year as members protested the deaths of black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
The Black Lives Matter movement gained international attention after the death of George FloydCredit: AP:Associated Press
Black Lives Matter gained international attention last year with the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Eide pointed out that the Norwegian Nobel Committee previously gave the award to individuals who made strides against racial inequality.
The Nobel Prize has been bestowed upon Nelson Mandela for fighting discrimination in South Africa, as well as Martin Luther King Jr for resisting racial prejudice in the US.
“There is actually a tradition for doing this,” Eide said.
“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.”
The deadline for nominations is February 1 and the Norwegian Nobel Committee will choose a winner in October through a majority vote.
Last year’s prize winner was the World Food Programme, and nominees included President Donald Trump, pitched by far-right Norwegian MP Christian Tybring-Gjedde.