Teachers and educators came to streets on Thursday, June 16, to hold rallies in protest to the regime’s education policies and the suppression of teachers’ rights activists. Protest were reported in Marivan, Bandar Abbas, Khorram Abad, Sharekord, Kashmar, Sari, Hamedan, Sanandaj, Karaj, Bukan, Saqqez, Andimeshk, and several other cities.
The protests were organized and declared by teachers’ rights organizations a week earlier. They are taking place today despite the regime resorting to severe security measures to prevent them. On Wednesday, security forces summoned and arrested dozens of teachers, activists, and organizers of demonstrations to intimidate protesters. But on Thursday, large rallies were reported in several cities.
The teachers are protesting regime policies that have plunged their lives into poverty. The teachers are demanding the full implementation of the government service law, the “Teachers Ranking” bill, and the adjustment of salaries according to growing inflation rates and the depreciation of the national currency. The teachers are fighting for their most basic rights, including the increase of their wages above the poverty line, which currently stands at around 120-140 million rials per month. Most teachers receive half of that amount. According to the regime’s own stats, there is a 40-percent gap between the income of teachers and the costs of living.
So far, the regime has either ignored the teachers’ pleas or has responded with force and suppression. On Thursday, videos and reports from different cities pertained to the heavy presence of security forces to prevent the protests.
In the past few months, the regime’s security forces have arrested dozens of teachers and labor activists. Some have been given heavy sentences or fines, and others have been summoned to court. The regime is doing everything it can to intimidate the public to prevent protests from taking place. But the teachers have returned to the streets nonetheless and are reiterating their demands.