I consider myself as pacifist, and are trying to avoid any violence in thoughts and actions.
I have been working in many high tension areas and war zones, and I think I know violence in all its many forms, from the silent, to the verbal to the physical. Everybody tend to focus only on the last, but all forms are violence, and the physical only comes after the first ones. Some people feel fine being very verbally violent as long as they refrain for letting it become physical – but it is the same.
One small early life experience made a huge impact on me. As a young student, I was very outspoken and had a good sharp tongue, and often made fun of people and situations. One evening after having made fun of many people, I was passed up by a big strong guy. He gripped my collar, and said that if I continued making fun of him, he would beat me up. He said I was good with words, and he was not, but I used the words as weapons. HIs only weapon was his physical strength, and he would use it if I continued. His logic hit me very deep, and still do. There is no real difference between verbal violence and physical violence.
I love Auroville and Auroville is my home. But I never seen Auroville as a very peaceful place, despite our spiritual aspirations. Many other cultures and communities I have experienced, are far more peaceful! The way we interact and communicate is pretty harsh. I normally stay out of Auronet as I find it a very violent space.
I really hope we can step back from entering into physical violence here in Auroville, but would like to remind people that we should also try to lower our non-physical violence. The way we communicate, the way we block each other, the way we refer to each other. To me it is often very violent and uncomfortable. I hope that we can learn from this conflict, and reflect on our way of collaborating and communicating