London, 14 Mar – On Thursday, March 9, thousands of teachers took to the streets across 22 cities in Iran to protest their economic deprivation and the imprisonment of their fellow educators.
They held sit-ins in front of their local branches of the Ministry of Education, calling for their demands to be met.
They chanted slogans against the policies of suppression, repression and plundering which are carried out by the current Regime, and held signs the read: ‘Detained Teachers Must be Freed’, ‘NO to Prison’, ‘Teachers’ future must be secured’.
The Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) documented over 1,000 teachers, supporters of the political prisoners and staff from the Ministry of Education in attendance at the rally in front of the Regime’s Parliament in Tehran. There, a member of the security forces attempted to confiscate the phone of a protester but was forced back by the crowd.
In Esfahan, the protesters bravely chanted: ‘Teachers are ready to die but wouldn’t be bullied by the government’.
In Shiraz, the teachers sat down at an empty table, highlighting that their pay is so low, they cannot put food on the table. They held signs which read: ‘Teachers must rise to end the discrimination and a petty monthly salary’.
In Sanandaj, teachers also demanded an end to executions and torture by the government.
In Kermanshah, protesters demanding the release of imprisoned teachers, like Mr Baghani.
In some cities, riot police attempted to intimidate the protesters but they failed. The protesters were lauded by passers-by who sympathised with their cause and opposed the Regime.
There was a range of reasons for supporting the teachers’ protest from employment rights to human rights, but all of the protesters knew that those to blame were the Regime leaders.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, supported the teachers and called on the Iranian people to support them.
She said: “In circumstances where the clerical regime spends most of the Iranian people’s wealth on suppression, export of terrorism, the massacre of peoples in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, the bottomless and anti-patriotic nuclear projects, or which funnels this wealth to the bank accounts of regime’s leaders and their families, the hard-working and noble teachers of the country that play the greatest role in building the future of Iran are living in poverty and face the most hardship in their lives.”
Protests also took place in these cities: Mashhad, Bojnourd, Ferdows, Torbat-heidaria, Mazandaran, Saqqez, Marivan, Qorveh, Tabriz, Ardebil, Zanjan, Bushehr, Kangan, Dehgolan, Lordegan, Ahwaz and Aligudarz.