Reported by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Jan. 31, 2019 - Among the different segments of the Iranian population regularly protesting against the tyrannical rule of the mullahs, the demonstrations and strikes of teachers are especially notable.
As the mentors of the future generations of Iran, the freedom-loving teachers of Iran have been constantly protesting since the end of 2017, when protests erupted across Iran. While pursuing their just demands, the teachers of Iran are regularly manifesting their intellect by holding gatherings at the tombs of historical figures such as Mirza Zadeh Eshghi, the revolutionary journalist who was murdered by the dictatorship of Reza Khan.
Iranian teachers commemorate Mirza Zadeh Eshghi
The following report is a compilation of protest movements by Iranian teachers since mid-January. On January 24, teachers and education workers in Kermanshah, Alborz, Isfahan and Ardebil held protests.
Protests by teachers in Ardebil
In Kermanshah, the teachers were chanting: “Livelihoods, housing, these our legitimate rights!” “Free education is our right!” “Workers, teachers, students, unity, unity!”
In Ardebil, a group of teachers held demonstrations in front of the offices of the education ministry in protest to the government’s lack of response to their demands.
In Alborz province, the teachers were chanting: “Inflation, high prices, answer Rouhani!” During his campaign for presidential election, Hassan Rouhani promised to solve Iran’s economic problems, including the high inflation rate and skyrocketing prices. But as he predictably fails to fulfill those promises halfway into his second term, different segments of the Iranian population are challenging him in their demonstrations and calling him off for his empty promises.
In Isfahan, teachers expressed their exasperation of 40 years of tyranny and corruption since the mullahs came to power after the February 1979 revolution. “The revolution was not supposed to be this way. It wasn’t supposed to be imprisonment, corruption and poverty,” the teachers were chanting in their demonstrations.
Protests by teachers in Alborz province
In Kermanshah, the protesting teachers published a statement, declaring their demands. Parts of the statement follows:
Following the large protest on January 20 for the demands of the teachers of the province, there has been no response to any of our demands. That is why, in unison with other teachers of other provinces and retired teachers, we reiterate our demands:
- The unconditioned release of all imprisoned teachers and the closure of their judicial files.
- The classification of Kermanshah as a war zone. The residents and education workers of the province should be given all benefits that are associated with this classification. Excluding parts of the province and especially retired teachers from this classification is the trampling of the rights of all teachers of Kermanshah.
- An end to the threatening and persecution of teachers because of their activism for their rights
- The cancelling of the repressive “full-time teacher” plan
- The adjustment of the 2019-2020 budget of the education sector based on real inflation rates
- Increasing the salaries of teachers above current real inflation rates
- Leveling the wages of teachers with other government employees
- The cancelling of inefficient insurance plans and the establishment of a functioning insurance system for working and retired teachers
- The provision of proper budget for schools and the creation of proper learning environments and free education based on Article 30 of the constitution
- An end to the “privatization” of schools
- Recognition of teachers’ associations and revoking all limitations and pressures imposed on teacher unions
- An end to education injustice for all students, rectifying the poor conditions of schools in rural areas
- A comprehensive grading of teachers
Protests by Iranian teachers in 2018
It is worth reminding that Iranian teachers have held numerous demonstrations and strikes in past months in protest to poor work and living conditions. The teachers say that the Iranian regime continues to disregard their demands.
Protests have taken place in numerous cities including Isfahan, Sari, Kermanshah, Gharveh, Divan Dareh, Shiraz, Mamasani, Kazerun, Marivan, Tabriz and Khoramabad.
Some of these nationwide protests by teachers in the past year include the following:
- In May, Iranian teachers held strikes in 34 cities
- In October, a second round of strikes by Iranian teachers, which lasted for two days, expanded to 103 cities
- In November, the teachers held another strike, with participants in all Iranian provinces
- In December, teachers and students in Hamedan and Kermanshah held demonstrations
- Shortly after, teachers in Isfahan and Yazd held protests. A few days later, teachers in Tabriz held demonstrations in spite of the freezing cold.
As the trend shows, protests by Iranian teachers are becoming more frequent, organized and expansive. When viewed in the context of other ongoing protests across Iran, the courage and determination of Iranian teachers are fueling and assisting other communities that are protesting for their most basic rights, such as workers, truck drivers, and merchants.
In tandem, the Iranian regime is increasingly incapable of stifling the voice of freedom and the protests of teachers and other segments of the Iranian society.
Overall, as the nationwide uprisings that began in late 2017 continue across Iran, the brave Iranian people are developing a spirit of solidarity, and with the help of organized resistance units, they’re inching toward achieving their ultimate goal, which is to topple the dictatorship ruling their country and replace it with a democratic state.