Iran: striking teachers arrested
From the Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network, March 14 (as is):
Iranian teachers' leader arrested!
According to the latest news from the trade union activists of Tehran province, in the earlier today the security forces arrested a large number of teachers. Mr Baghani, the General Secretary of the Tehran Teachers' Association, is among those arrested. The activists have also lost control of the Teachers' Association's weblog.
Eye witnesses outside the Majles (parliament) building reported that as the security forces, including the Revolutionary Guard, were out in force and had swamped Baharestan square (outside the Majles). The teachers therefore decided to protest outside the Education and Training Ministry instead. Around 50 to 60 teachers were, however, arrested outside the Majles. They including:
Mahmoud Beheshti-Lankarani, Tehran Teachers' Association spokesman;
Mr Baghani, the General Secretary of the Teachers' Association;
Mr Badaghi, web editor and member of Tehran Teachers' Association
Norollah Akbari, co-opted member of the Tehran Teachers' Association.
All roads leading to the Majles are now being controlled by the Revolutionary Guard and other security forces.
These arrests follow the fourth teachers' demonstration outside the Majles on 8 March. Over 35000 teachers protested against low pay and were promised that their representatives would be allowed to have a meeting with Education and Training Ministry and other government officials. At this meeting, which took place on Tuesday 13 March, no Education and Training Ministry turned up! A number of lower rank officials from various other ministries and a few Majles members came to insult the teachers and belittle their struggle for a living wage. The teachers' representatives were told that there would be no negotiations and that their "pressures … will have no effect on … [the officials'] decision!
We call on all trade unionists and labour activists to support the Tehran teachers' struggle and the 'Iranian workers are not alone!' day of action on 20 March. This will be a day of action in defence of all Iranian workers as well as all those who stand with the labour movement: women, unemployed youth, students and so on.
The new Iranian labour movement stands at a crucial turning point: with your support we can help it forward in restoring its previous gains. For details of the 'Iranian workers are not alone!' please refer to our website.
Iranian Workers' Solidarity Network