We are Afro Liberation Front. Our leadership is comprised of a non-binary queer Black person and an Afro-Latinx woman. We serve to amplify BIPOC voices and events worldwide. We primarily organize events and support other events getting off the ground. Our goal is to empower all marginalized communities through mutual aid, event support, community forums, and more.
In a time where police brutality, bigotry, and hatred are widespread, we believe it is imperative to have elected officials, both locally and nationally who are doing everything they can to advocate for the communities they serve. Unfortunately, the harsh reality of corrupt politics is flourishing across the nation and in our own backyards.
This past month, Denver city council members rejected a bill, proposed by Councilwoman CeDebaca, that would uplift and provide protection for our communities against unjust policing and police brutality. One of those council members, Amanda Sandoval, decided to use the racist fallacy of “Black on Black” and “Brown on Brown” crime as reasoning to reject this bill. From that moment forward, Councilwoman Sandoval has not only doubled down on her comments, but has taken a series of actions to intimidate local activists and perpetuate prejudiced stereotypes of Black and Brown people. In addition, Councilwoman Sandoval has refused to take any amount of accountability for her hurtful, dangerous, and unprofessional behavior and statements.
We at Afro Liberation Front, advocate for all vulnerable communities and will always take action to hold those in positions of power accountable. We refuse to sit idly by while the individuals we employ to represent and protect our communities weaponize our funding against us. Every action taken by any elected official, no matter how minuscule it may seem, should be in the best interest of the people.
The actions taken by Councilwoman Sandoval are harmful to BIPOC communities and are only self-serving. This is not the first, nor will it be the last time, that elected officials take advantage of their positions. It is extremely disappointing to live in a city that presents itself as extremely progressive, knowing how deep the local corruption runs. Having a black mayor who remains silent to maintain power, at the expense of communities they are supposed to serve, is a perfect example of that corruption.
When there is no accountability taken for these kinds of behaviors, it only hinders progress in movements that advocate for our communities. It has been incredibly painful and frustrating to see a councilwoman who claims to be a proud Latina encouraging and orchestrating division between BIPOC communities. Progress in any movement is dependent upon unity. Having all marginalized communities come together to advocate for and uplift one another is the only way we can continue to make and inspire change.
Despite the use of intimidation tactics by law enforcement, elected officials, and bigoted individuals and groups that we and other activists experienced first hand, we will continue to advocate for all, and confront corruption within government agencies. Now is the time to organize, mobilize, and demand change.
Azria Arroyo is the Co-Director of the Afro Liberation Front.