Black Lives Matter Nominated for 2021 Nobel Peace Prize: 'People Are Waking Up'

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Maria Pasquini
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Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Protests in response to the killing of George Floyd have taken place worldwide. In Vancouver, a protester holds up a Black Lives Matter sign during a demonstration on May 31.

Black Lives Matter has been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

On Friday, it was announced that the organization was nominated by Norwegian parliament member Petter Eide.

"To carry forward a movement of racial justice and to spread that to other countries is very, very important. Black Lives Matter is the strongest force today doing this, not only in the U.S. but also in Europe and in Asia," Eide told USA Today.

"For the Nobel Prize Committee, this is not unusual to link a fight for (racial) justice, to link that with peace," Eide added. "There will be no peace without justice."

Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his role in leading the civil rights movement. Albert Luthuli and Nelson Mandela also won the prize in 1960 and 1993, respectively, for their work in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement.

"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," Eide shared in his written nomination, according to The Guardian.

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In response to the nomination, Black Lives Matter wrote on Twitter that they were "only getting started."

"We hold the largest social movement in global history. Today, we have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize," read the statement.

"People are waking up to our global call: for racial justice and an end to economic injustice, environmental racism, and white supremacy," the statement continued. "We're only getting started."

Numerous politicians, academics and others qualify to submit nominations, which will be accepted through Feb. 1.

The Norweigan Nobel Committee is expected to come up with a shortlist in March. The winner will be selected in October, and an award ceremony is currently scheduled for Dec. 10.

Last year, the Norwegian Nobel Committee selected the UN World Food Program (WFP), a humanitarian organization focused on providing sustenance to the hungry, as the recipient of its 2020 peace award.

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Black Lives Matter was founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi in 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

The organization was also instrumental last year amid the nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed while in police custody.

In 2020, Cullors, Garza, and Tometi were named to TIME's annual list of the 100 most influential people.

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On Friday, it was also announced that the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation had won Sweden's Olof annual Palme human rights prize for 2020.

"Black Lives Matter had its great national and international breakthrough in the summer of 2020, in connection with a number of cases of extreme brutality," the Olof Palme Memorial Fund for International Understanding and Common Security said in a press release.

"In the United States alone, an estimated twenty million people have taken part in Black Lives Matter protests, and millions more have made their voices heard all over the world," the statement continued. "That the all powerful raised voices of African Americans resonate so strongly also internationally, shows that this in essence is about global threats to human dignity and fundamental human rights: BLACK LIVES MATTER!"

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