Western Australian Labor senator Pat Dodson, who in 2008 received the award for his advocacy for aboriginal rights in Australia, said of the Black Lives Matter movement that it was one 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,” he added.
Last year’s recipient, Naomi Klein, also praised the choice, saying of Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi that they “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.”