Black Lives Matter movement wins prestigious Swedish award

Stockholm, Sweden – The international civil rights movement Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation was named winner of the 2020 Olof Palme Prize on Friday.

The Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013 following the death of Trayvon Martin.
The Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013 following the death of Trayvon Martin.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The jury cited how the foundation was "working for peaceful civil disobedience against police brutality and racial violence all over the world."

The foundation's roots were in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement founded in 2013, following the acquittal of a man charged with shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin to death the year before.

Last year, the movement experienced a major breakthrough in the United States and internationally as it reacted to several highly publicized cases of police brutality.

"The BLM movement at large has in a unique way exposed the hardship, pain, and wrath of the African-American minority at not being valued equal to people of a different color," the jury said.

Protests in the US and across the world have illustrated that "racism and racist violence is not just a problem in American society, but a global problem, including [in] Sweden."

The prize, worth $100,000, was created in 1987 in memory of late Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, who was slain in 1986.

Last year, best-selling British-born author John le Carré received the award.

Previous Palme Prize recipients include: Congolese physician Denis Mukwege, co-winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize; former Czech president and dissident Vaclav Havel; Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi; and Amnesty International.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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