Reported by PMOI/MEK
Iran, March 5, 2019 - On Tuesday, teachers in at least 25 Iranian cities held the third day of their sit-in protests from early hours in the morning. The teachers, who began their sit-in on Sunday, are fighting for their most basic demands, including low wages, inefficient insurance plans, poor living conditions and very poor management of the education sector.
As economic conditions in Iran continue to decline, Iranian teachers are faced with worsening living conditions. Government corruption and the declining value of the rial have played a major role in making the lives of Iranian teachers and other public sector employees harder. Despite the increasing inflation rates in Iran, the salaries of teachers and other government employees have not changed. In the past months, this situation has triggered various protests by working and retired government workers.
Protests by Iranian teachers in Kurdistan
Protests by public sector workers are happening as the Majlis (parliament) is discussing the budget of the upcoming Persian year (starting on March 21). The teachers, who are putting behind the third day of their pre-declared sit-ins are concerned that the regime and the cabinet of Hassan Rouhani are doing nothing to improve their living and work conditions. While the regime continues to spend billions of dollars to fuel sectarianism and terrorism in neighboring countries, the lives of Iranian teachers and other segments of the society are spiraling into poverty and misery.
The teachers are also demanding the regime to respect its own laws pertaining to providing free education to all, as well as the cancellation of several legislations that will put further strain on working teachers and the many youth who are looking for employment as teachers. Several banners held by the teachers on Tuesday were calling on the regime to stop taking measures that will destroy the lives of the future generations of Iran.
Teachers in Marivan province join nationwide protests
Among other demands of the teachers is the release of several teachers’ rights activists who continue to linger in the prisons of the Iranian regime for having raised their voices for the rights of their colleagues.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), expressed the support of the Iranian Resistance for the demands of the teachers and called on all Iranians to support teachers in their cause.
Cities that have joined the nationwide protests so far include the following:
- Khomeini Shahr
- Najaf Abad
- Torbat-e Heydarieh
Teachers in Tehran join nationwide protests for basic demands
It is worth noting that in the past year, Iranian teachers have been regularly holding demonstrations to achieve their most basic rights and demands. In 2018, teachers across Iran organized and held strikes on several occasions.
One three occasions, in May, October and November, teachers in several Iranian cities held strikes that lasted several days.
Nationwide protests by Iranian teachers (Shiraz)
In December, teachers and students held undeclared demonstrations in Hamedan and Kermanshah at the same time. A few days later, similar protests erupted in Yazd and Isfahan and was met with large attention from online media. The teachers of Isfahan continued their demonstrations for several days even though security forces tried to quell them by cracking down on the protesters and attacking them with batons and pepper spray.
The continued bravery and courage of teachers spread to other cities. In late December, the teachers of Tabriz held protests and didn’t allow security forces to stop their movement.
Nationwide protests by Iranian teachers (Yazd)
In January and February, Iranian teachers continuously held protests in various cities. The current protests, which have been previously declared and organized on social media channels, will continue for three days.
As the demonstrations and protests join and gain momentum in several sectors of the Iranian society, the regime is finding itself less and less capable of maintaining its hold on power and stifle the voice of justice.
Nationwide protests by Iranian teachers (Mashhad)