The event will not continue into the second day tomorrow on the 23rd.
We owe you an apology and an explanation. This will get too long to read, so please get ready.
Here it is.
Everything was covered
and stuff was going pretty well too. Since September 7, when we announced registrations, the response from the community had been great and by today’s morning (including at venue registrations), we had a whopping 498 sign ups for the event (even though thats not insanely high, its a decent number to be proud of).
We had a great start to the day as well, with 110 participants presenting themselves before 10AM at the venue and we started the event on time at 10AM (given the state of morning traffic in Delhi, thats a biggie! and we are very proud of it).
There was a slight issue of infrastructure at the venue, in terms of Power strips available and the status of Internet connectivity, but the venue co-ordinators were working on it pretty diligently.
I began things with an interesting session about MozCamp, Unconferences, Mozilla, Web and the Internet, which was very well accepted by the participants in an engaging interactive session. Soon a parallel workshop on Backbone.JS started in another room, which had to be extended due to popular demand from an hour’s length to almost 4 hours!!
things went wrong. While the power-strips situation was handled, the Internet was still a problem. Not be cause there was underlying lack of infrastructure, but because there was internal strife, conflict and duplicity in the local coordinators at Jamia. Something we had been trying to resolve for the last 3 weeks.
So ingrained is this conflict in their psyches that when one coordinator makes something, the other HAS to break it. Sad, and totally unacceptable, but true. On our ramp up to the event, we were hoping it could be set aside and everyone will work together, that we all could work together as a community.
But somethings run too deep. Like ego. Like ignorance. Like stupidity. For the folks running logistics at Jamia, somehow, the event was not a community event but an attempt for personal glory in their personal petty conflicts (without knowing and understanding what community, the event, or Mozilla stand for and mean) and they were under the impression that they are doing a favor on the coordinators by hosting the event. Very untrue communications that were sadly not handled properly by the venue coordinators. This was not only insulting and unacceptable, it was something that could not be encouraged either.
We could have very easily worked within infrastructural limitations and compromised on our Internet consumption needs. But we could not work in an environment, which was completely against our ideologies and what we stood for. To continue doing the event at such a venue, with such people would have been insulting what we were trying to achieve. Compromising on them was a huge price that we were not ready to pay. It was only unfortunate that this happened.
that it takes huge efforts to organize an event. We also understand that the participants had come for an amazing MozCamp that they deserved and we were all set to shine with content and energy and their efforts should have been acknowledged. Our participants deserved better than getting their time wasted with the event wrapping up in just 2 sessions (and the other speakers not even getting the opportunity to present their sessions).
But it was a decision we took. We think its better to wrap up than work with stupid agencies that cannot work with communities. We cannot bow down. We cannot surrender. We cannot compromise for something inferior. Our mistake is that we did not handle the venue correctly.
The organizing team (Myself, Vaidik, Anshul and Shariq) had worked pretty hard for the last 3 weeks piecing everything together and putting along a show that would have been so very awesome. It hurts to shut down our own thing like this, but we could not compromise on our values.
We went ahead and presented the situation to our participants and they opted to move away from the venue as well. That meant that we had to work a new venue at a short notice of a day, which is not possible.
But all this is alright. We all are humans, we make mistakes, we learn from them. Next time we will work out a venue that knows what its doing and wants to be a part of it as well. From amidst all this, we are happy we came out proud and unyielding on our values.
Out of the whole team, I was the one involved most with taking this decision, and I hold myself personally responsible for this cancellation.
So whats next?
We are not going to let all these efforts go to waste. We had great content ready for the event, with amazing people and high energies. Such things dont die out either. Delhi is a sad little city for community events and venues, so we are going to work on the root cause of it and solve the problem of a community venue. We are also going to fix the issues with this MozCamp and come back with a better MozCamp (that actually gets completed)
We will soon publish the pictures from the day (the first half) just to have glimpses of how beautiful things were, before ego and greed made them troublesome.
And for all the trouble we caused you, we are personally very sorry. All of this was sad, unfortunate and unintentional.