The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In his nomination statement, Norwegian Member of Parliament Petter Eide writes, “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. Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice. They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice.”
“They have been able to mobilize 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,” Eide adds.
Eide asserts: “Studies have shown that most of the demonstrations organized by Black Lives Matter have been peaceful. Of course there have been incidents, but most of them have been caused by the activities of either the police or counter-protestors … There is actually a tradition for doing this. It’s a strong linkage between antiracism movements and peace, and a recognition that without this kind of justice, there will be no peace and stability in the society.”
The nomination statement concludes, “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.”
In a widely reported study on violence connected to Black Lives Matter demonstrations released in September 2020, ACLED asserted that the “vast majority of demonstration events associated with the BLM movement are non-violent.” According to ACLED’s metrics, “in more than 93% of all demonstrations connected to the movement, demonstrators have not engaged in violence or destructive activity.” Yet ACLED also highlighted that almost 570 demonstrations across the country between May 24 and August 22 did “involve demonstrators engaging in violence.” ACLED reports:
While the US has long been home to a vibrant protest environment, demonstrations surged to new levels in 2020. Between 24 May and 22 August, ACLED records more than 10,600 demonstration events across the country. Over 10,100 of these — or nearly 95% — involve peaceful protesters. Fewer than 570 — or approximately 5% — involve demonstrators engaging in violence. Well over 80% of all demonstrations are connected to the Black Lives Matter movement or the COVID-19 pandemic.
Axios reported last September: “The vandalism and looting following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police will cost the insurance industry more than any other violent demonstrations in recent history… The protests that took place in 140 U.S. cities this spring were mostly peaceful, but the arson, vandalism and looting that did occur will result in at least $1 billion to $2 billion of paid insurance claims — eclipsing the record set in Los Angeles in 1992 after the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King.”
In a fact-check in August 2020 on claims about violence at BLM demonstrations, PolitiFact summed up various reports from news outlets but noted that official data from the Justice Department was not available and cautioned that it’s “difficult to flatly blame” the BLM organization for all the destruction. Excerpt from the report:
Officers injured: The New York Post reported on June 8, citing the U.S. Justice Department, that more than 700 law enforcement officers were injured on the job during nationwide protests over Floyd’s death.
People killed: In early June, news accounts reported the number of people killed during the Floyd protests at roughly a dozen, or as many as 19. The victims include a 77-year-old man who was a retired St. Louis police captain and a 22-year-old woman from Davenport, Iowa.
Damage caused: In late June, Fox News reported that according to insurance experts and city officials, the Floyd protests could eclipse the 1992 Los Angeles riots to become the most expensive civil disturbance in U.S. history. The 1992 riots, which followed the acquittal of four police officers in the beating of Rodney King, cost $1.4 billion in 2020 dollars, according to the report, which did not give a specific damage estimate for the Floyd protests. A spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute told Scripps National News that “most likely” the Floyd protest “would lead to higher losses,” but did not provide an estimate either.
Black Lives Matter didn’t respond to our requests for comment.
As explained by The Guardian, Nobel peace prize nominations “are accepted from any politician serving at a national level, and they are allowed just 2,000 words to state their case.” The deadline for submissions this year is February 1, followed by the shortlist selection by late March and, finally, the selection of the winner in October.