We’ve returned from our vacation, so here to bring you that weekly socialist update is the Weekly Agitator for Sunday April 29, 2018

Give a handout and a fist up: Montgomery County socialists deliver direct aid to homeless community

We’ve written previously about the hamfisted efforts of the County to propagandize their solutions to homelessness. Sold as giving a “hand up, not hand out,” County posters demonizing panhandling pollute the very spaces that the homeless go for the few free resources we offer. Threats to get state laws passed to criminalize street median panhandling are continuously proffered by out of touch elected officials.

But now local socialists are taking the lead in a movement to assist the homeless as community members first, rather than targets of non-profit ventures, philanthropy, or political grandstanding.

Montgomery County DSA Mutual Aid Caucus spent Saturday morning operating what they called their “Solidarity Shop.” The “shop” consisted of donated new and gently used clothing, food, and hygiene supplies offered freely to whomever asked. Members of the Mutual Aid Caucus dialogue with shop patrons about what was available for offer and what could be requested for the next Solidarity Shop event.

Leaflets distributed included a statement of purpose from the Caucus, “..we want to build a relationship between you and our organization, and ultimately the community at large. We want to work toward a permanent fix, not a Band-Aid, for the many ways capitalism has failed you.”

Also included in were stamped envelopes to receive feedback on the services, as well as ways to stay in touch. The Caucus has released a list of items attendees to the Solidarity Shop requested, which can be found Mutual Aid Caucus WishList

Those interested in serving can email MoCoMutualAid@gmail.com to set up a time to pick up donations or learn more.

MoCo Council to consider ICE attorneys

The County Council is planned to take up the issue of providing legal representation to immigrants facing deportation proceedings, reports the Washington Post. Residing in the country without documentation is a civil, not criminal, offense. So those being kidnapped by ICE and taken court on civil charges are not guaranteed a public defender.

But programs already exist to give undocumented immigrants a fighting chance against deportations in place in locations such as Baltimore and Prince George’s County. The County Council has debated the issue and it appears to be a subject that will be taken up over the summer months. As Max Foley-Keene writes, this should only be the beginning of Montgomery County’s defense against ICE. The real solution is the relatively young organization be abolished.

End of the Annual State Legislative Period

The end of the legislative session was a few weeks ago. But just last week Gov. Hogan cannonballed his rotundity down to Bethesda to sign a bill for dedicated Metro funding and a massive Amazon incentives package. So we see it fit to do a quick recap of the good and bad that took place in Annapolis this year

Automatic Voter Registration passes – GOOD

Bill to mandate every public school have a cop passes – BAD, more police will not solve the problem and minority students will be the ones who face increased scrutiny under this bill.

Maryland has debtors’ prisons. If an individual owes money to a creditor, that creditor can issue a “writ of body attachment” — a lien on an individual’s body. A sheriff may then arrest the person based on that writ and jail. The practice not only furthers the carceral system but also acts as life support for the bailbond industry, which is struggling to keep alive a predatory business of extortion in Maryland. A bill was passed by the Senate, but never received a hearing in the House. — BAD

A ban on the horrendous pseudoscience of conversion therapy was passed — GOOD

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