Soon after the racial justice group received a nomination for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, Black Lives Matter was awarded Sweden’s Olof Palme human rights prize for 2020.
Following a series of high-profile police brutality cases, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation became a worldwide slogan. After the deaths of a number of BAME civilians, such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, protests in support of racial justice and stopping police brutality spread throughout the USA and worldwide.
The Black Lives Matter Movement has received significant criticism by several mainstream media figures regarding their behaviour over the summer of 2020. Last May, those protesting in the name of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter in Minneapolis began the destruction of property, with the protests involving vandalism and arson. These quickly progressed to many other cities, with looting, arson, and riots present throughout the movement.
In the UK, the movement was involved in tearing down statues of historical figures connected with the Slave Trade, and its activists also participated in the desecration of national monuments such as the Cenotaph.
The Olof Palme Prize was awarded to the international civil rights movement due to the “peaceful civil disobedience against police brutality and racial violence all over the world”. The Prize organisation claims that over 20 million people have taken part in the protests and tackled the issue of racist violence, which has been labelled a “global problem” by the award organisers.
The prize pays tribute to Olof Palme, a Swedish Prime Minister and firm human rights supporter who was assassinated in 1986. The $100,000 (£73,000) award has taken place every year since his death.
In this same period, BLM was nominated for the largest global peace prize by a Norwegian MP, Petter Eide. This is the first such nomination that BLM has received. Nominations for the prize can come from any national-level politician, allowing only 2,000 words to state their case.
Mr Eide allegedly said he does not want his nomination to be seen as a comment on domestic US politics. His nomination papers stated that BLM had become an “important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice” that it was different from previous movements as it was formed of “not just oppressed people”.
The deadline for Nobel Peace Prize nominations is the 1st of February. The winner will be chosen in October 2021 with the prize ceremony planned for the 10th of December.