Iran: Women actively participated in teachers’ nationwide protests

Iran’s teachers, men and women, held protests in at least 32 cities across the country outside the Departments of Education and in Tehran, outside the Budget and Planning Organization and the mullahs’ parliament.

In addition to the two locations in Tehran, the protests were held in Arak, Qazvin, Zanjan, Kermanshah, Isfahan, Homayounshahr, Shiraz, Mamasani, Shahreza, Shahr-e Kord, Mashhad, Bojnourd, Birjand, Kazeroun, Saqqez, Baneh, Sanandaj, Dehgolan, Marivan, Mahabad, Qorveh, Zivieh, Divandarreh, Tabriz, Rasht, Sari, Khorramabad, Behbahan, Bandar Abbas, Boushehr, and Hamedan. The teachers protested against low wages, difficult living conditions, being denied their most basic rights including medical insurance, job security and officials’ failure to address their problems.

The protesting teachers chanted, “Free imprisoned teachers.” They also held placards which read, “Teachers, workers, students, unite!”, “Teachers deserve to receive wages higher than the poverty line”, “Bread, jobs, freedom, justice in education”, “access to free and quality education is the right of every child.”

In Tehran, the State Security forces attacked the teachers’ gathering outside the Budget and Planning Organization and beat up the teachers particularly the women.

When security forces attempted to arrest Mohammad Habibi, the activist teacher who had been recently freed from jail on bail, women held hands and surrounded him so as to prevent his re-arrest. Women teachers chanted, “We cannot tolerate so much injustice”, “Police, go catch the thieves.”

One of the women teachers was badly hurt in the eye during this raid.