International Teachers' Day marked by protests in Tehran
5 October 2003

Tehran teachers converged on the Education Ministry Building early morning Sunday 5 October 2003. This protest coincided with International Teachers' Day and in lieu of earlier warnings by teachers in support of their demands for pay and against discrimination. In a short period, up to 2000 teachers joined the demonstration. Most of the Tehran schools were half closed. The crowd began to shout slogans airing their demands. The security forces were present in full-force and controlled all the surrounding areas. The slogans were: Shame, Shame, Shame on you! Enough of discrimination, Teachers have had enough! Unity and Solidarity is the slogan of the teachers! Teachers' dignity must be restored! We will not give up until victory! Teachers, Teachers, Unity, Unity against discrimination!

The protest continued outside the building until 11a.m. When the teachers decided to move onto Palestine Square, security forces blocked their way and prevented the banner of International Teachers' Day from being unfolded. The teachers then passed a resolution in support of their demands. Furthermore, more than 6 thousand teachers protested in Esfahan. Most of the schools closed as a result. The city has reportedly been turned into a military fortress by the security forces. But because of the huge numbers of protesters, the security forces have not intervened. In a separate report received by the WPI, nearly 1000 teachers staged a protest in Ardabil northwest Iran. The protesters demanded an end to discrimination and 'morality police' in schools. They also demanded the election of head teachers by the teachers themselves.

The Worker-communist Party of Iran calls on all progressive individuals, organisations in particular teachers' associations, and unions to support the teachers in Iran.