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Black Lives Matter movement nominated for Nobel peace prize

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The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel peace prize by Norwegian member of parliament Petter Eide.

Eide said he nominated the organization because it is “bringing forward a new consciousness and awareness about racial justice,” according to the official nomination papers.

“BLM’s call for systemic change have spread around the world, forcing other countries to grapple with racism within their own societies,” he said.

Eide told ABC News that he has received threats and hateful messages since the nomination announcement but has no plans to rescind the nomination.

“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 in an interview with ABC News.

Eide, who has represented the Socialist Left Party in the Norwegian parliament since 2017, said he researched the protest movement thoroughly before nominating it for the award that also includes a $1 million prize.

“We found studies showing more than 90% of the demonstrations in the U.S. were peaceful. Most of those incidents of violence was based on either aggressive police behavior or counter-demonstrations,” he said. “I’m quite convinced that Black Lives Matter is a peaceful organization.”

The Black Lives Matter movement was co-founded in 2013 by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi in response to the acquittal of the man who shot Trayvon Martin. In 2014 the movement gained a strong following after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. In 2020, BLM became a widespread movement following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Eide’s nomination papers concluded, “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.”

The winner of the Peace Prize is selected in October and the award ceremony is scheduled for Dec 10.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Columbia alumni are also anti-Israel, threaten to withhold $77 million in donations

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2,000 people claiming to be Columbia University alumni have signed a letter pledging to “withhold all financial, programmatic, and academic support” from the institution until it meets the demands of anti-Israel protesters. The result is $77 million in donations is at risk.

National Review reports that the letter, addressed to Columbia president Minouche Shafik and the school’s trustees, expresses support for the protesters who oppose the university’s “continued collaboration with the Israeli government’s ongoing genocidal violence against Palestinians.”

“The movement for Palestinian liberation, on campus and globally, is often led by Jewish people of many nations,” the letter says. “Weaponizing claims about antisemitism to silence student speech is based on faulty logic, harms Jewish students, and distracts from true antisemitism, including the attempts by a craven American right to tokenize, exploit, and appropriate Jewish trauma and resilience.”

There does not appear to be a process to verify that people who sign the letters are, in fact, Columbia alumni. It allows people to sign anonymously.

The letter condemns the “administration’s brutal repression of student speech and assembly,” specifically president Shafik’s decision to call in the New York Police Department Strategic Response Group on protesters. Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters were arrested at Columbia and at the City College of New York on April 30, including some who barricaded themselves inside a campus admissions building.

Signatories of the letter are pledging to withhold donations until the university meets 13 demands, including: that it divests from companies that “fund or profit from Israeli apartheid, genocide, and occupation of Palestine”; calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war; removes Shafik as president; bans the NYPD from campus; and drops charges against student activists, reverses disciplinary measures against them, and finances the healthcare for students who were “brutalized” by the police.

The website where the letter is shared claims that the signatories have previously provided over $67 million in financial contributions to Columbia, and that over $77 million in donations are now at risk.

The letter also claims that the university “failed to hold accountable the former Israeli soldiers who carried out a chemical attack on protesting students in January 2024.” That seems to be a reference to an incident involving anti-Israel protesters who told the student-run Columbia Spectator that during a demonstration earlier this year they were sprayed with “skunk,” a chemical developed by the Israeli Defense Forces.

While this letter is from supporters of the anti-Israel protesters, Columbia has also received pushback from opponents who say the school is allowing protesters to break the law, disrupt the educational environment, and harass Jewish students, adds National Review.

On Monday, 13 federal judges sent a letter to Columbia leaders saying they will no longer hire the school’s students as clerks due to their behavior and the school’s mismanagement of anti-Israel protests, writing that “Columbia has disqualified itself from educating the future leaders of our country.”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a Columbia alumnus, said in April that he would withhold donations from the university due to the anti-Israel protests.

“I am deeply saddened at the virulent hate that continues to grow on campus and throughout our country,” Kraft said in a statement. “I am no longer confident that Columbia can protect its students and staff and I am not comfortable supporting the university until corrective action is taken.”

 

 

 

 

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