After receiving global recognition over the summer for its fight against racial injustice in policing, a Norweigan Parliament member nominated the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) for a Nobel Peace Prize on Jan. 29.
Parliament member Petter Eide is a member of the socialist left party in Norway and chose to nominate BLM because of its global impact, forcing countries outside of the U.S. to reflect on their own racial biases.
“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 wrote in his nomination papers. “Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice.”
Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi founded BLM after George Zimmerman murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. Outrage over Zimmerman’s acquittal sparked the BLM movement. Before last year, BLM also protested the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and Meagan Hockaday; all of them were murdered by police officers.
The movement received global attention in the summer of 2020 after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were murdered by police officers in the United States. BLM protesters organized across the country — as well as around the world in Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Syria, Brazil, Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Poland and Australia.
In response to its nomination, BLM tweeted “We hold the largest social movement in global history. Today, we have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism and white supremacy. We’re only getting started.”
Eide said that his nomination is not a comment on domestic U.S. politics. However, his nomination of BLM still received backlash; since making the nomination, Eide has received numerous threats for his decision to nominate the movement.
“This weekend I have received so many negative responses from individual Americans telling me that Black Lives Matter is a violent and aggressive organization, that they are deliberately using violence as a political communication tool and that nominating them for the Nobel Peace Prize is quite insane,” Eide said, according to ABC News.
Much of the criticism comes from the framing of BLM protesters as violent rioters and looters, with one “news and entertainment” publication, News Punch, publishing an article titled “BLM Terrorists Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.”
Formally known as Yournewswire.com, News Punch publishes primarily conspiracy theories, with occasional reporting on news. The publication has been debunked 80 times by fact-checkers, according to Poynter.
According to research from The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), more than 93% of the demonstrations connected to BLM in the U.S. have not involved violence or destructive activity.
“Despite the media focus on looting and vandalism, however, there is little evidence to suggest that demonstrators have engaged in widespread violence. In some cases where demonstrations did turn violent, there are reports of agents provocateurs — or infiltrators — instigating the violence,” read the ACLED’s findings.
The Nobel Prize Committee does not release information regarding the nominees to the media or the nominees themselves. Information regarding the nominees can only be released by the nominator.
The Nobel Prize winners will be announced on Oct. 8.