Iranian Teachers' Strikes Expand
Teachers have been striking across Iran for at least the last eleven weeks, with many teachers arrested, according to the AKI Italian news agency and other sources familiar to Pajamas Media. The teachers are seeking higher wages (they have not been raised in years) and the reinstatement over a thousand colleagues who were forced into "early retirement" for disagreeing with the policies of the Islamic regime.
Hundreds of protesters have been beaten up and jailed, Pajamas Media has learned. The following video shows a recent teacher's demonstration in front of the Iranian Parliament in Tehran. Banners and placards demand the regime pay teachers a fair wage and protest discrimination against Iran's minorities in their educational system. Protesters can be heard demanding the release of imprisoned teachers and shouting "Proclaimers of Justice!... Shame, shame, shame on you!"
These demonstrations have apparently expanded in recent days. Rumors are prevalent that the regime is trying to deceive the international public by forming a fake protest under the name of the "Teachers' Association" in their own favor, using the notorious Basijis (paramilitary forces loyal to the mullahs). This is supposed to be happening by Saturday morning Iran time. The real "Teachers' Association" has called for a nationwide strike by the teachers of Iran on Sunday, April 29, 2007.
As part of the Islamic government scare tactics, it is reported that many teachers who participated in the previous protests against the IRI have not been paid their salaries and have been threatened with losing their jobs, if they continue their activities. Many others are still missing following their arrests in prior demonstrations by the teachers.