Iranian teachers protest harsh living conditionsPublished by International Liberty on March 2, 2015
Thousands of Iranian teachers took to the streets in 28 cities across the country on Sunday demanding an end to discrimination against teachers by the authorities and asking for raising their salaries to poverty line at least.
The protest gatherings were held in the capital, Tehran as well as in the cities of Shiraz, Marivan, Khorramabad, Brujerd, Ilam, Kermanshah, Ravansar, Javanroud, Zanjan, Yasouj, Ardebil, Bandar Abbas, Sanandaj, Arak, Qazvin, Esfehan, Rasht, Qaemshahr, Hamedan, Paveh, Abadan, Bandar Gonaveh, Tabriz, Abhar and Karaj.
Teachers and employees of the education sector in Iran staged the gathering after a statement issued by teachers’ organizations on February 16. Sporadic protests began in a number of cities last week.
To rein in the protests, the clerical regime summoned a number of teachers and threatened them not to hold public protests in current situation of the country which authorities described to the teacher as being ‘critical’.
However, despite repressive measures taken by the regime, large scale gatherings swept many cities across Iran on Sunday.
Women who had a significant presence played critical role in these gatherings and chanted slogans against discrimination.
In Tehran, the protest gathering was outside the regime’s parliament with six thousand teachers taking part. A number of the protesters were arrested including a person holding a sign demanding political prisoners to be freed.
Some of the signs carried by protesters read:
“Free teachers’ activists”
“Teachers’ future should be taken care of”
“Poverty line is 3 million, teacher’s salary is 1 million”
“Political prisoners must be freed”
“No to prison, no to threat, no to expulsion, imprisoned teachers must be freed”
“Teacher does not belong in prison”
“Teachers should have security”
“It is our right to organize”
“Honor, livelihood is our unequivocal right”
“Complementary and effective insurance is our unequivocal right”
“We want a salary above the poverty line”
“Mr. Rouhani! Doubt your justice!”
“Social and economic humiliation of teachers for how long?”
“Our salaries have no relation with the crushing inflation”
“We demand lifting of discrimination from various levels of Department of Education”
“Teacher is conscious and hates bias”
“Organizing is our unequivocal right”
“Stop privatizing the schools”
“We want quality, equal and free education”
“We want modern education congruent with society’s needs”
“Teacher will die, but will not accept discrimination”.
The Iranian resistance leaders called on all students, the youth, and the freedom-loving people of Iran to support and express solidarity with the protest movement of noble Iranian teachers and employees of the education sector who are deprived of their most rudimentary rightful right in the wretched system of Velayat-e faqih.
The honour of the members of the hard working education sector in Iran continues to be trampled upon by the ruling mullahs.
The religious dictatorship ruling Iran for the past 36 years, has not only refused to give teachers and education employees their rightful wages, but even has refrained from paying their meagre salaries. By plundering their salaries for several consecutive months, this regime has made life more difficult than ever for them to an extent that receiving a pay equal to the poverty line has become one of their main imperative demands.