Here's how Black Lives Matter plans to beat the police state: Activists release comprehensive agenda

"We the Protestors" unveils bold proposals amid mounting calls for criminal justice reform

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published August 21, 2015 5:28PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
(Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

A group called "We the Protestors," led by prominent Black Lives Matter activists Deray McKesson and Johnetta "Netta" Elzie, just released its most comprehensive set of demands and policy prescriptions meant to address police brutality.

Campaign Zero launched today on a glossy website that read, "we can live in a world where the police don't kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability":

Writing that "it will take deliberate action from policy-makers at all levels of government to implement these policy solutions," the coalition of protestors outlined proposals in 10 different areas and called for new laws at the federal and state level.

“We must end police violence so we can live and feel safe in this country,” their website reads.

On the federal level, the group calls for the end of so-called "broken windows" policing, racial profiling, marijuana prohibition and calls for a mandate on the use of body cameras and funding for training to address racial bias.

McKesson told the Guardian that the Campaign Zero platform was formulated “based on what we have learned over the past year and on direct feedback from protesters around the country.”

The group, which has seen their political reach grow rapidly in a year as some activists affiliated with the movement have publicly confronted Democratic presidential candidates, has also graded both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates on their campaign promises to reform criminal justice in America.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came out on top with 8 of the group's 10 policy solutions aligning with the socialist democrat's campaign platform and legislative record. Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who apologized for his use of the term "all lives matter" when interrupted by protestors at the progressive Netroots Nation campaign earlier this summer, was not far behind, meeting 7 of the activists' 10 demands while Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul barely made the grade as the only Republican who has proposed any criminal justice reform.

"More tools will be released in the coming weeks to help people hold elected officials accountable to dismantling other harmful systems and building an America where all people can live, learn and reach their full potential," the activists vowed.

Campaign Zero's website cites local laws that have already passed as models for success and includes a link for visitors to sign a petition pledging support for the campaign. The group's "Planning Team" includes a member of President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing. and the landing page of Campaign Zero's website reads "we can end police violence in America" before quickly adding that "it will take deliberate action from policy-makers at all levels of government to implement these policy solutions."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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