The domestic terrorist group Black Lives Matter has won the 2017 Sydney peace prize, despite the fact that their actions at home and abroad have caused civil unrest.
Past recipients of the prestigious award include Julian Burnside, Prof Noam Chomsky and former Irish president Mary Robinson.
The Guardian reports:
Each year the Sydney Peace Foundation honours a nominee who has promoted “peace with justice”, human rights and non-violence. Past recipients include Julian Burnside, Prof Noam Chomsky and the former Irish president Mary Robinson.
Western Australian Labor senator Pat Dodson, who was awarded the Sydney peace prize in 2008 for his advocacy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, applauded the selection of Black Lives Matter as a movement that stood against “ignorance, hostility, discrimination, or racism”.
“This movement resonates around the globe and here in Australia, where we have become inured to the high incarceration rates and deaths in custody of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Dodson said. “It’s as if their lives do not matter.
“For our communities, the storyline is all too familiar: the minor offence; the innocuous behaviour; the unnecessary detention; the failure to uphold the duty of care; the lack of respect for human dignity; the lonely death; the grief, loss and pain of the family – the coronial report where no one is held responsible for a death in custody.”
Last year’s recipient, Naomi Klein, said Cullors, Garza and Tometi “embody the core principle of the Sydney peace prize: that there will never be peace without real justice”.
“This is an inspired, bold and urgent choice – and it’s exactly what our moment of overlapping global crises demands,” Klein said.
The selection is likely to be controversial with some who associate Black Lives Matter with images of week-long and occasionally violent protests at Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown in 2014.
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