Security forces attacked a peaceful teachers’ gathering today in the central city of Isfahan with tear gas and pepper spray. Reports on social media indicate that as many as 40 to 50 teachers were detained in the gathering, though the figures are still not exact.
From the very beginning of the gathering outside the city’s Education Department, security forces and riot police were dispatched to the area and shot tear gas into the peaceful teachers’ gathering.
Videos circulating on social media showed teachers chanting, “A nation has never seen such injustice.”
Another video shows a teacher complaining to a reporter holding a microphone from Iran’s state-run TV.
“You talk as if you don’t live in this society. You ask me to talk about my financial condition. Don’t you see it? Are we living in Paris?” the teacher asked sarcastically.
“We are part of a society where 90% of the people live under the line of poverty. Now you want me to talk about my condition? You’re show is a farce,” the angry teacher added.
The teachers rally was planned from before with widespread calls for the gathering on social media.
The rally was the latest in a long line of gatherings by teachers in various Iranian cities. Since the beginning of the new academic years, teachers have taken strike action twice in nationwide acts of protests.
Their demands including an increase in wages and an improvement in their livelihood conditions and insurance, and the release of detained teachers, have yet to be met.
At least 98 teachers were detained, summoned or threatened in the two strike actions, with some still in prison.