Growing protests in Iran are met with regime’s mainstay tactic: repression

Protests over social, economic and environmental issues have roiled Iran in recent months, and the response of the country’s security forces — typically a blend of anti-riot police forces and plainclothes and uniformed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) elements — has been simple: repress them.

Teachers, factory workers and labour activists have taken to the street across the country to air their grievances with the Iranian regime, along with farmers protesting water shortages and villagers protesting sanitation failures.

In many cases, demonstrators have been denied their right to protest via intimidation, while in others they have been met with outright hostility and violence by security forces.

They have been shot at with pellet guns, arrested and imprisoned, with some subjected to humiliating searches of their homes and computers.

Recently when workers’ and teachers’ unions held co-ordinated protests in 28 cities for International Workers’ Day (May 1) and Teachers’ Day in Iran (May 2), IRGC intelligence and police forces ensured they had a strong presence in all cities where protests were held.

In Tehran, the protest was to take place in front of the Majles (parliament) building, but the heavily policed area dissuaded participants, organisers said, so the demonstration was relocated to the outskirts of the city.

Teachers have gathered across the country for months to demand unpaid salaries for teachers on contract (non-government employees) and to call for better benefits for staff members and higher salaries to meet inflation.

Education contractors are demanding that they be made government employees, while retired teachers seek a raise in their pension payments to make ends meet, as some are paid salaries that fall below the poverty line.

Chants heard during the May Day protests included: “[President] Raisi, you’re a liar; what happened to your promises?” and “They say America is our enemy.

That’s a lie! Our enemy is right here!”, according to the Centre for Human Rights in Iran.

Latest news
Related news