The Black Lives Matter global movement has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize thanks to Norwegian lawmaker Petter Eide.
Eide, who has represented the Socialist Left Party in Parliament since 2017, cited the group’s "online platform to provide activists with a shared set of principles and goals” in his nomination letter that was reportedly penned late last week.
Eide also wrote that he chose the movement for their “struggle against racism and racially motivated violence,” according to NBC News.
"BLM's call for systemic change have spread around the world, forcing other countries to grapple with racism within their own societies," Eide went on to say.
The Black Lives Matter movement was co-founded by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted of the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
“I didn’t want George Zimmerman to be the period to the story. I didn’t want his name to be the name held up over and over again by the media, by his fellow white supremacists,” Cullors wrote on the organization’s website, adding: “In the last six years many of us faced down tanks, rubber bullets, were forced to do jail and prison sentences, have been surveilled, lied on, called terrorists, been given false labels by the FBI, and some of us have lost our lives.”
“These six years have been the most profound six years of my life and the most traumatic and destabilizing six years of my life,” Cullors added.
The movement gained renewed attention last year following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died on May 25, 2020, after then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck even as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death was captured in widely seen bystander video that set off protests around the world.
The organization shared news of their nomination to Twitter, writing that the movement is “only getting started.”
“We hold the largest social movement in global history,” the tweet read. “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.”
News of the organization’s nomination was not universally applauded, but Eide said he was prepared for the backlash and did not plan to withdraw his support.
“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 told ABC News on Sunday.
Eide did not specify the “hateful” messages he received, but said: “They were very nasty, and some of them were also threats.”
Nominations for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize were due by Monday, Feb. 1. The winner will be chosen in October, with a ceremony to follow in December.
Spectrum News has reached out to Petter Eide for comment.