In May 2020, amid a global pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people across the globe took to the streets to reawaken the Black Lives Matter movement following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor - three individuals who lost their lives as victims of police brutality and racial violence. The year was subsequently shaped by these protests, calling for racial justice and systemic change in the US and beyond. Now, the Black Lives Matter movement, which was founded in 2013 has been nominated for 2021's Nobel Peace Prize.
The movement, which is often abbreviated to BLM, was founded in 2013 by activists Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors-Brignac in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, with a mission to eradicate white supremacy within state power systems and vigilantes. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the movement grew ten fold last year, sparking global protests supporting the movement, and growing it to the biggest activist movement in the USA.
One of the founders, Patrisse Cullors-Brignac took to Instagram to express her thoughts towards the nomination, "I’ve spent the last 24 hours processing what it means for #BlackLivesMatter to be nominated for the #NobelPeacePrize" She wrote "I’ve thought a lot about #TrayvonMartin and @sybrinafulton. I’ve thought about my own family, Monte Cullors and my father, and my mother. I’ve thought about how for hundreds of years Black folks have been fighting for our freedom. How every generation pushes the world to see the trauma of white supremacy and the absolute urgency to root it out of our society so that Black people can not just survive but thrive. If our movement wins the Nobel Peace Prize it’s because millions of people, over the last 7 years, have showed up to continue the fight for Black liberation."
The nomination was actioned by Norwegian MP Peter Eide. In a statement, Eide told the Guardian, “They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice." He said of his decision. “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.” His written nomination states, “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.”
Image: Still from @blklivesmatter