Timeline

 

Complete timeline in chronological order.

A list of acronyms is provided at the bottom.

 

Past events that lead to where we are today.

Thursday, December 2nd

Youth Centre and Bliss Forest members receive an email from Auroville Town Development Council (ATDC) informing them that the work on clearing the 16.7m ‘right of way’ will begin ‘next week’.

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Friday, December 3rd

Youth Centre responds via email, demanding a stay on this decision, given the short notice. They summarise their many efforts to progress alternative options for development with ATDC, which had culminated in a positive meeting in the recent past, and express how they are upset and felt unheard.  

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Saturday, December 4th, 9AM

Saturday, December 4th, 9AM

Contrary to what Auroville Town Development Council (ATDC) had previously informed the Youth Centre and Bliss Forest stewards, bulldozers (from Auroville Road Service) arrive at Bliss forest, Lilaloka entrance on December 4th, at 9AM. They are accompanied by members of ATDC, and a few Aurovilians who support this action. They start uprooting trees. The caretakers arrive and block the work. No Work Order is presented by the people doing the clearing work.  

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Saturday, December 4th, 9.30AM

Saturday, December 4th, 9.30AM

Caretakers call out for help. More than a hundred Aurovilians rush to the site. The police is called by the Foundation. After being given all the facts by the residents, the police leave the site.

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Saturday, December 4th, 12PM

Saturday, December 4th, 12PM

Residents reach out to the WC and the ATDC for explanation and gather to decide on a way forward. Three future Residents Assembly Decision-making meetings (RADs) are agreed upon: RAD 1: Request the halt of all further development until a RAD decision is made. RAD 2: Request the immediate resignation of Working Committee (WC) members Anu, Srimoyi, and Arun. RAD 3: Request the resignation of all ATDC members.

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Saturday, December 4th, 10.15PM

Saturday, December 4th, 10.15PM

Three bulldozers and diggers are spotted outside the Foundation office. A late-night meeting is taking place, with people coming and going.

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Sunday, December 5th, 1AM

Bulldozers leave the Foundation office with members of the ATDC, escorted by many police officers, and head to Bliss Forest to complete their work of uprooting trees in the middle of the night. Youth Centre (YC) residents rush to stop their advance. Extra police officers have already erected multiple roadblocks at all access points, to stop other concerned residents from reaching YC and Lilaloka entrance. The police arrest some of the Aurovilian teenagers, including a girl. A few dozen Aurovilians manage to reach the site through the forest, some assaulted by the police as they do. The arrested youth are eventually released. Two members of WC – a committee that is supposed to represent the interests of the residents – arrive on site.      

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Sunday, December 5th, 3PM

Sunday, December 5th, 3PM

Shocked community members gather at Kalabhumi amphitheatre to discuss the agressive events. The consensus is that the events represent a kind of behaviour that cannot be accepted in Auroville. A resolution is signed to this effect, by all present at the meeting. More signatures are added (about 500 to date) and this is communicated to the Foundation and working groups.

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Sunday, December 5th

The Auroville International Board (AVI Centres) sends a statement to the Working Committee and the Secretary of Auroville Foundation in support of the community. View statement

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Monday, December 6th, 6PM

Five Aurovilians meet the Secretary at Matrimandir. She verbally offers INR 10 lakh to the YC, and the possibility of relocating the buildings in the Bliss Forest if the YC and the rest of the community steps aside. They are told they must respond by 7AM the following morning.

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Monday, December 6th, 8PM

Monday, December 6th, 8PM

Youth Centre (YC) members call an emergency meeting to report the outcome of the talk with the Secretary, as they have been given only twelve hours to accept the offer. The youth accept to collaborate under some conditions: They will dismantle the buildings themselves. They decline the financial compensation. TDC should provide the signed NOC within 48 hours to allow the construction of the new buildings in the same area. Although this decision does not align with the longstanding Residents Assembly decision-making process (stewards cannot take such decisions without consulting the whole community), it was agreed that collaboration would ease the tension. A written response is sent within the required timeframe to the Secretary and the ATDC.

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Tuesday, December 7th, 7AM

No answer has been received from the Secretary’s office directly after 7AM, the deadline given by the Secretary. The YC continues to wait for a written agreement signed by the Secretary.

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Tuesday, December 7th, 8AM

Tuesday, December 7th, 8AM

A spontaneous meeting is held with the wider community at the Youth Center. No answer from the Secretary’s office so far. While the meeting is undergoing, an answer from ATCD is received, but it differs from the original request, and is confirmed by the Secretary’s office.

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Tuesday, December 7th, 12PM

Outreach Media (Auroville’s service that facilitates external media relations on behalf of the community) is told by the Foundation to “refrain on issuing any statements until further notice”. The Foundation office appoints two official spokespersons, without seeking any approval from the Residents. View email sent to Outread Media

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Tuesday, December 7th, 3PM

In order to support the youth in these challenging times, a peaceful get-together is planned at Youth Centre (YC) so that the community can heal together. However, a parallel event is then announced by the newly-appointed “Auroville Spokespersons” at the same venue. Despite this tactic, the event goes ahead peacefully. 

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Tuesday, December 7th, 8.30PM

Tuesday, December 7th, 8.30PM

Darkali stewards make a presentation to ATDC for their proposal to develop the land in an ecologically sensitive manner.

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Wednesday, December 8th

The Residents Assembly asks the Working Committee (WC) to organise an emergency RAD. The request is refused by the majority of the WC members, with two members in favour, and four against.

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Wednesday, December 8th

Wednesday, December 8th

An alternative, more environmentally-sensitive proposal for development of Bliss Forest is presented by the community to ATDC.

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Wednesday, December 8th

Wednesday, December 8th

Announcement of a first General Meeting for the process of the first RAD scheduled for 20th December: to put on hold the development of the Crown Road. 

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Thursday, December 9th, 7AM

Thursday, December 9th, 7AM

More than 100 unidentified people, allegedly hired by an Aurovilian under the order of the Foundation Secretariat, enter the Youth Centre (YC) with two bulldozers. The YC team and concerned citizens try to make sense of the situation, to establish order, and request the official Work Order. Ignoring their requests, the paid crowd and machines forcefully enter and start destroying infrastructure, bulldozing trees and buildings. Aurovilians are manhandled. Rampant destruction continues despite all efforts to peacefully deal with the situation. Finally, residents from different communities of Auroville come together. Holding hands, they silently bear witness.

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Thursday, December 9th, 9AM

Thursday, December 9th, 9AM

Within two hours of the onset of the enforced destruction, all the buildings are down. Aurovilians watch in shock. More buildings were taken down than had earlier been discussed.

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Thursday, December 9th, 3PM

Thursday, December 9th, 3PM

While some residents attend a meeting at the Unity Pavilion called by the Foundation, bulldozers, driven by people from a distant village (not direct neighbours of Auroville), make their way towards Darkali,. The sudden arrival of bulldozers causes a chaotic situation as Aurovilians and concerned people try to stop them without using violence. After some confrontations, the situation evolves into a peaceful sit-down protest, as people present chant and refuse to budge.  

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Thursday, December 9th, 6PM

Thursday, December 9th, 6PM

The community is informed that at 6AM the following morning, bulldozing will restart at Darkali. Peaceful protesters continue to camp at the site overnight.

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Friday, December 10th, 7.30AM

Friday, December 10th, 7.30AM

Four bulldozers, along with Auroville’s road service and members of ATDC arrive in Darkali. They start bulldozing work, while Auroville residents protest silently. 

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Friday, December 10th, 11AM

A bulldozer heads along the ATDC indicated path towards a precious water catchment, and a few Aurovilians stop it. 

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Friday, December 10th, 2PM

JCBs start the work on the other side of Darkali.

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Friday, December 10th, 2.30PM

Friday, December 10th, 2.30PM

A Stay Order is obtained from the National Green Tribunal, which orders that the felling of trees must stop for one week (until 17 December). All work is stopped.

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Friday, December 10th

Former International Advisory Council (IAC) members send a collective statement to the Chairman of the Governing Board, sharing their deep admiration for Auroville and their equally deep concern regarding the unfolding events. View the statement

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Saturday, December 11th

Auroville’s current IAC expresses its concerns in writing to the GB, and calls for inclusiveness and collaboration.

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Saturday, December 11th, 2PM

Saturday, December 11th, 2PM

Auroville Road Service team is seen working in Bliss forest again, with a parked bulldozer, a tractor and a trailer. They are accompanied by one of the “Official Spokespersons” of the Foundation office. A passing witness calls a member of the Working Committee (WC), who arrives on site. A Work Order dated December 11th is presented.

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Sunday, December 12th

Sunday, December 12th

Auroville Road Service proceeds with the marking for the high tension cable.

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Wednesday, December 15th

Wednesday, December 15th

Auroville Road Service continue the work at Youth Center and Bliss    

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Thursday, December 16th

Thursday, December 16th

Leveling of the road and digging of the trenches for HT cable is still going on at Youth Center and Bliss

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Friday, December 17th

Friday, December 17th

The stay order has been extended until the next hearing on the 21st.

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Saturday, December 18th

Saturday, December 18th

The trench work still goes on.

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Monday, December 20th, 4.00PM

Monday, December 20th, 4.00PM

The Resident Assembly Service is holding a meeting in preparation for a decision-making to Stop all development work on the Crown until further notice from the Residents’ Assembly.  

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Tuesday, December 21st

Tuesday, December 21st

The stay order has been extended until the next hearing on the January 3rd, 2022.  

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Wednesday, December 22nd, 8AM

Wednesday, December 22nd, 8AM

Against the stay order prohibiting any activities in the area, Auroville Road Service starts laying the HT cable in the trench, despite some trees standing on the path.    

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December 22nd, 2021

December 22nd, 2021

The AVI board sends a second letter to Dr Jayanti Ravi, Secretary of the Auroville Foundation, and to the members of the Governing Board.

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December 28th 2021

December 28th 2021

The ATDC informs the community that they will not take into account the ongoing Resident Assembly decision process to make a pause on the development till a decision is made by the community. The ATDC mentions 2 articles of the Auroville Foundation Act 1988, There is no 19(1)(c) there is 19(2)(c). The decisions taken in the last report of the Governing Board were taken by the Secretary and a few selected members from…

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January 2nd 2022

January 2nd 2022

Second meeting of the Residents’ Assembly to organise a RAD to pause the development till a decision is made by the community. The question for the RAD adopted by the majority of the members of the RA is: To pause all clearing, infrastructure laying and permanent construction work on the Right of Ways of Crown, Radials and Outer Ring in order to enable the community to define a way forward for Auroville’s development, following: collective processes, the ‘Master Plan: Perspective 2025’ framework, and other relevant regulations. The outcome shall be approved through a ratified Residents’ Assembly Decision-making process, before the above specified clearing, infrastructure laying and permanent construction work resumes. Presentation on Feedback on RAD Proposal Mass bulletin email outcome of the follow-up RAM

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January 4th, 2022

The hearing at the Court continues, next one will be on Monday, January 10th 2022. The status quo order continues. Meanwhile the sessions for a collaborative and participatory planning organized by the citizen assembly are taking place with the participation of Shilpa Vastu Foundation  

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January 7th, 2022

January 7th, 2022

The Resident Service in charge of maintaining the Master list of children and adult Aurovilians as well as New comers. They help and coordinate concerning visa renewal and residential permit related works.  They were informed by several Aurovilians of foreign origins that they have been asked by the Secretary of Auroville Foundation’s office to sign a letter in order to receive their letter of recommendation to obtain the extension of their visa. This is a completely newly introduced step. The point 4 is going against the very aims and ideals of Auroville. Out of 3312 individuals in Auroville (Adults and children), 1893 are concerned by visas. Visa threats Jan 22

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January 16th, 2022

January 16th, 2022

The AVI Board (Auroville international) adresses a letter to the Secretary and the Governing Board to express their concern on the form that Aurovilians are forced to sign to obtain their recommendation letter for their visa extension from the Secretary. AVI Board letter 160122 to GB & AVF_Final

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January 18th, 2022

January 18th, 2022

The change.org petition has reached the 50 000 signatures. Meanwhile the Governing Board of the Auroville Foundation meets again in Auroville with no interaction with the Residents of Auroville. The residents have been informed the day before of the meeting of its happening and were told that they would not be able to interact with the Governing Board as it usually happens.

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January 19th, 2022

These past few days, several Aurovilians have received a visit from the Pondicherry RRO. The immigration officers indicated that the RRO has received a list of names of foreigners on an Auroville visa who allegedly participated in “violent protests against the Crown Road.” During these visits, Aurovilians have had the opportunity to explain that the so called protests were peaceful.

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List of acronyms used

ATDC = Auroville Town Development Council

AVIB = Auroville International Board (AVI Centres)

GB = Governing Board

GM = General Meeting

IAC = International Advisory Council

NOC = Non-Objection Certificate

RA = Residents Assembly

RAD = Residents Assembly Decision-making meeting

WC = Working Committee

YC = Youth Centre