The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel peace prize for the way its call for systemic change has spread around the world.
In his nomination papers, the Norwegian MP Petter Eide said the movement had forced countries outside the US to grapple with racism within their societies.
“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. “Black Lives Matter has become a significant worldwide movement to fight racial injustice.
“They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice.”
Eide, who has previously nominated human rights activists from Russia and China for the prize, said one other thing that impressed him about the Black Lives Matter movement was the way “they have been able to mobilise people from all groups of society, not just African-Americans, not just oppressed people, it has been a broad movement, in a way which has been different from their predecessors.”
The Black Lives Matter movement was co-founded in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi in response to the acquittal in the US of the man who shot Trayvon Martin. It gained wider recognition in 2014 following protests over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. It was the wellspring of a series of global protests in 2020 following George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s deaths.
Nominations for the Nobel peace prize are accepted from any politician serving at a national level, and they are allowed just 2,000 words to state their case. The deadline for this year’s submission is 1 February, and by the end of March, the committee prepares a shortlist. The winner is chosen in October, and the award ceremony is scheduled for 10 December. More than 300 nominations were for last year’s award, which was ultimately won by the World Food Programme.