On Sunday, May 1, 2022, thousands of teachers took to the streets in at least 55 cities in 21 provinces across Iran. Teachers and pensioners rallied outside local education departments despite severe repressive and security measures based on prior notice.

A day earlier, security forces had stormed activists’ homes in several cities, including Tehran, Saqqez, Ahvaz, etc., detained them, and seized their belongings such as laptops, cellphones, and electronic items. However, teachers did not succumb to intimidation and held protests.

“Political prisoners must be freed,” “Imprisoned teachers must be freed,” “Prison is not a place for teachers, Iran is not a place for oppressors,” teachers chanted in several cities, venting their anger over the regime’s oppressive measures.

“Illiterate Raisi, this is the last warning; the teachers’ movement is ready to revolt,” and “Liar Raisi, what happened to your empty promises,” protesters bluntly addressed regime president Ebrahim Raisi, slamming him for false and misguiding statements. Raisi is infamous as the butcher of Tehran for his role in the mass killing of political prisoners in 1988.

“Workers, teachers must unite,” “Students, teachers must unite,” “Our enemy is here (state), they lie, saying it’s America,” “If one embezzlement (referring to state-backed plundering) is prevented, our problems would be solved,” teachers chanted, expressing their outrage against systematic corruption, and calling on various strata to support them.

“Due to the security atmosphere and the large presence of plainclothes security forces, the freedom-loving teachers in Tehran held a rally in the park and areas adjacent to the Ministry of Education,” stated the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

“Since yesterday, officials have summoned or detained around 40 teachers across the country,” a teachers’ representative affirmed to a gathering in a park. “[We had never come into the streets if we were afraid of you] and we do our bests until obtaining our undeniable demands.”

“Political prisoners must be freed; Imprisoned teachers must be freed,” protesters chanted.

“Teachers protested in front of education departments in other cities, including Arak, Kermanshah, Qazvin, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Bushehr, Saqez, Nourabad Fars, Homayoun Shahr, Tabriz, Karaj, Aligudarz, Yazd, Isfahan, Harsin, Khorramabad, Yasuj, Langarud, Dehdasht, Delfan, Rasht, Shooshtar, Marivan, Dehgolan, Islamabad Gharb, Gachsaran, Shahreza, Pol Dokhtar, Ardabil, Kamyaran, Lahijan, Izeh, Qom, Masjed Soleyman, Mahshahr, Sanandaj, Borujerd, Qazvin, Khorrambid Fars, Torbat Heydariyeh, Tonekabon, Qir and Kazerun, Mamasani, Urmia, Neyshabur, Bojnurd, and Khorrambid,” the NCRI statement added.

“In their May Day statement, the teachers said that teachers and workers in Iran have been denied of their basic universal rights, including wages above the poverty line, health care, social security, and the right to assembly and protests,” wrote the Iranian opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) official website. “So far, the regime has either ignored the teachers’ pleas or has responded with force and suppression.”

Further reports say different classes of people joined teachers’ protests, showing their solidarity with their rightful struggle. In several cities, workers, retirees, and pension recipients of the Social Security Organization stood along with brave teachers.

NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi saluted brave protesters, who shouted for their undeniable rights on May 1. “Iranian teachers, workers, and retirees took to the streets across the country on Labor Day. They called for unity and cried out, ‘The teachers’ place is not in prison; the tyrants’ place is not in Iran,’” Mrs. Rajavi said.

“The Iranian people and resistance will sweep away the oppressive and criminal mullahs and make Iran free and prosperous with unity and solidarity.”