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Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

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"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

One response to “Providence will not take sides in CLF lawsuit against Johnston/Invenergy over water sale”

  1. Deforest

    In that footnote on page one of the City of Providence’s Answer, it states, “An answer to a complaint, however, affords a litigant only the opportunity to respond to the specific allegations made in the complaint, and does not provide a means for a party to articulate its policy preferences.” Fair enough and it does seem like the Answer just goes paragraph-by-paragraph through CLF’s Complaint and either “admits” or “denies” the assertions in the Complaint, apparently in strict accordance with the court’s Rules of Civil Procedure.

    But at the very end of the Answer, Providence states, “WHEREFORE, Defendant [i.e. Providence] demands that judgment enter in its favor and that it be awarded such relief as the Court deems just and proper.” A question for Jerry Elmer is: what does that mean? What is a judgement in Providence’s favor? Is it for upholding the validity of the Invenergy-Johnston water contract or not? If it’s for upholding the contract, isn’t that in itself Providence taking a side?

    Also, if an “Answer” is not the procedurally allowable vehicle for Providence to make its policy preference known, is there some other means? What I’m getting at is, should we be advocating for Providence to file a motion or brief or something? They’ve already passed a resolution.

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