Teachers demonstrated for the third day in a row in protest of their unbearable living conditions, low salaries, and disregard for their demands in 120 cities in Iran on Monday, January 31, 2022. Another primary demand of the teachers’ demonstrations was the release of imprisoned teachers. Women teachers played a passionate and prominent role in all the protests.
After two days of nationwide sit-ins and in a tight security environment, the teachers’ demonstration occurred. The State Security forces, and plainclothes agents attempted to prevent the teachers’ demonstrations and others from joining the rallies by blocking the routes leading to the gatherings of teachers. But they faced the persistence of teachers, especially the women’s resistance, and were forced to retreat.
Several teachers were arrested in Tehran, Marivan, and Fars province during the teachers’ demonstration. Despite the heavy presence of security forces in Shiraz, large crowds marched in the streets, shouting for the release of imprisoned teachers.
Resolution of the teachers’ demonstrations
The teachers’ demonstration culminated with the issuance of a resolution. They said in the resolution:
We are gathered here today to shout that the educational structure in Iran is regressing. There is less educational justice than ever. We have gathered to announce that we are fed up and that the lives and livelihoods of retired and employed teachers and educators are in crisis like most of the society and the working people. For months, educators have been protesting the status quo in various ways. But apparently, no one in the ruling system hears. Today we emphasize more than ever and declare:
If by mid-March, the law on equalization of pensions for the retirees is not implemented;
If the Teachers Ranking Plan is not fully ratified and the budget for this and next year is not approved;
If the privatization and monetization of education is not stopped and the government continues to earn the per capita education budget from the pockets of parents and students;
In other words, if free and quality education for students as stipulated in Article 30 of the Constitution is ignored by the rulers;
If the rights of the school workers who work hardest are not addressed;
If the looting of the Teachers’ Reserve Fund continues;
If the job security of contract forces is not provided;
And if the detention of activist teachers and the fabrication of cases against the protesting teachers are not stopped, and the teachers are not released from prison;
As previously announced, we will continue our sit-ins from February 12 to 17. We will announce a nationwide rally on Thursday, February 18, 2022.
The places and slogans of the teachers’ demonstrations
The teachers’ demonstration in Tehran took place outside the mullahs’ parliament. In other cities, Iranian teachers held their rallies in front of the Department of Education in that city.
The cities where the teachers’ demonstrations were held included Tabriz, Urmia, Isfahan, Shahinshahr, Sedeh, Semirom, Baghbahadoran, Chadegan, Shahreza, Fooladshahr, Najafabad, Ardabil, Karaj, Eshtehard, Ilam, Chardavol, Abdanan, Bushehr, Dashtestan, Shabankareh, Borazjan, Shahrekord, Lordegan, Mashhad, Neyshabur, Bojnurd, Ahvaz, Khorramshahr, Ramhormoz, Andimeshk, Behbahan, Shush, Shooshtar, Izeh, Andimeshk, Zanjan, Shiraz, Eqlid, Fasa, Nourabad Mamasani, Darab, Kazerun, Lamerd, Gerash, Qazvin, Qom, Sanandaj, Dehgolan, Marivan, Kamyaran, Qorveh, Bijar, Ziviyeh, Kermanshah, Sonqor, Javanrud, Saqqez, Islamabad Gharb, Miandoab, Harsin, Gorgan, Yasuj, Dishmok, Rasht, Bandar Anzali, Lahijan, Rezvanshahr, Langarud, Khorramabad, Borujerd, Delfan, Romeshgan, Aligudarz, Pol Dakhtar, Kuhdasht, Sari, Nowshahr, Amol, Behshahr, Neka, Arak, Hamedan, Malayer, Yazd and Bafgh.
Some of the slogans chanted by Iranian teachers in their protests were, “Political prisoner must be freed,” “Prisoned teachers must be freed,” “(Ebrahim) Raisi is a liar,” “The illiterate, six grader (Ebrahim) Raisi, what happened to your promises?” “The government betrays, Majlis (parliament) supports it,” “Political prisoners must be freed,” “Teachers die but do not accept humiliation,” “Teachers rise up to get rid of discrimination,” “So much talking by the state, yet no action,” “We will not rest until we obtain our rights,” “Our enemy is here (state), they lie that it’s America,” “Silence of every teacher provides an opportunity for more oppression,” and “We are tired of hearing lies from the authorities.”