Town Hall building taken over

Jan 22, 2023 | Uncategorized

Auroville’s Town Hall used to be a hub for the township’s unconventional mode of governance, or ‘organisation’, and home to the Working Groups (WGs) appointed by the Residents’ Assembly.
Since May 2022, the Auroville Foundation Office headed by Jayanti Ravi (AVFO), and the Governing Board (GB), have gradually seized control of Auroville’s organisation by taking over the WGs as well as their office spaces in the Town Hall. Despite countless authoritarian actions, there is still one space in the building that hasn’t fallen under the grip of those vouching for this new, top-down approach to governance.
On the 1st of July 2022, the Auroville Council (AVC) received an email from the ACUR (Town Hall) management illegitimately appointed by the AVFO, ordering the team to vacate the AVC office with less than 24 hours notice. Since then, the space has been continuously held by a group of approximately 35 Auroville residents, who have committed to keeping the room available for the WGs appointed by the Residents’ Assembly, and Auroville as a whole.
In that time, there have been threats of police cases against the vigil-keepers, a widely reported instance of aggression against the AVC secretary, and the electricity supply to the room has been limited. Despite this, the space has become a place of friendship, sharing and community with several ongoing events centered around the room. Holding the space has become highly symbolic, as the WGs illegitimately appointed by the AVFO have occupied all the other offices in the Town Hall.


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