On Monday, April 23, the strikes that started in Iran’s western border provinces over increased restrictions on imports continued in various cities. In Baneh, Kurdistan, which was among the first cities where the strikes started, shop owners and merchants continue to refuse opening for business.
Afraid of growing tensions and the possible eruption of widespread protests, the Iranian regime has tried to frighten and intimidate merchants and force them to reopen their shops. According to local reports, since the beginning of the protests, security forces have arrested more than 16 merchants and have burned the vehicles and other belongings of protesters.
But the strikes and protests have continued to expand and gain popular support from other citizens of the provinces where they’re taking place. On Saturday, the students of Payam-e-Nour University in Marivan declared their support for the protesting merchants.
On Monday, the people of Baneh joined the merchants in their march toward the governor’s office in the city. The protesters have gathered at the Passaj-e-Behesht area and their numbers are growing with every passing hour.