On Wednesday, December 23, Iranian people from different walks of life, including students, workers, retirees, veterans, and creditors, held rallies and strikes, protesting the government’s mismanagement. In their protests, citizens demanded officials respect their fundamental rights.
Students’ Gathering in the Education Department
In Khuzestan province, a group of Izeh city students gathered in the local education department, protesting in-person exams. Students, who had organized the gathering on social media, chanted, “We will not take exams,” at the department. “Our classes were held virtually, and the exams should not be held in-person,” said the protesting students.
Haft-Tappeh Workers’ Rally Against Corrupt Managers
In tandem with the jury’s meeting at the justice ministry, employees and workers of Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Complex and their supporters held a rally in front of the ministry building in Tehran. Protesters demanded the regime revoke the Complex privatization and transfer the factory from the private sector back to the public sector.
People who gathered, including employees, workers, students, and retirees, chanted, “Students, workers, unite, unite.” Notably, since around ten years ago, the privatizing process began according to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei‘s opinion.
In this respect, the regime allocated several public companies, estates, and properties to former officials or their relatives to ease economic pressures and pave the path for illegal interaction and banking transactions. Profiteering and corrupt managers seized the opportunity to fill their pockets.
In other words, privatization merely brought misery and more poverty for millions of workers whose rights were easily violated by new CEOs. Since the time, workers constantly protest and stage rallies and strikes, demanding their factories be returned to the public sector, ensuring their fundamental rights based on the constitution.
Gathering of Veteran Employees in front of Majlis
In Tehran, employees recognized as ‘Isargaran,’ or veterans, held a rally in front of the Parliament (Majlis), protesting a newly passed directive that prevents them from gaining new employment. The religious fascism shows no mercy even to those who had sacrificed their lives and health for the regime’s survival. Employees demanded the Majlis to reform the circular designated by the Administrative and Employment Organization.
Creditors’ Rally in front of Majlis
A group of people whose properties were plundered by government-backed credit institutions gathered in front of Majlis, protesting their properties’ unclear fate and the government’s negligence in this context.
Creditors demanded officials to specify and return their lost properties from ‘credit institutions,’ particularly Caspian and Samen al-Hojaj firms. They raised banners, calling on officials to take action immediately.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is behind many of these so-called institutions that have plundered citizens’ belongings with hollow promises. In May 2017, during the Presidential campaign, Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri revealed that Majlis Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf had founded some of these institutions when he was Tehran mayor.
“Mr. Ghalibaf, have you ever known about the Ghavamin bank conditions? You established many of these credit institutions,” Jahangiri said, blaming Ghalibaf for the corruption cases. Ghalibaf is now projected by some state-media circles to win the Presidency in the 2021 election.
Ilam Petrochemical Workers’ Rally
In Ilam province, to ease the petrochemical plant’s expenditures, employers fired a group of workers despite the coronavirus pandemic and its horrible consequences in various aspects, including the economy. Following this disgusting act, fired workers held a gathering in front of the plant, demanding their return to work.
“We are around 30 workers. In parallel with the Alfeyn site’s exploitation, we became unemployed due to lack of need. This is while we are a native working force, and it is our right to work in this refinery,” said the contract workers of Petrochemical Alfeyn site, adding, “After the end of construction, [employers] recruited non-indigenous workers and told us, ‘We do not need you anymore.'”
“We have family, and this petrochemical plant is our only hope. This plant is located in our region. It is unfair that the employers dismiss us as native forces after several years,” the outraged workers said.
Rally of Shahin Car’s Customers
A group of registered customers of Shahin Car held a rally in front of the Competition Council bureau, protesting mandatory prices. Due to the country’s dire economic conditions, automaker companies frequently raise the prices to compensate for disadvantages at the expense of customers.
Rally of Nissan Van’s Customers
A group of registered customers of Nissan Van staged a gathering, protesting the automobile’s fluctuating prices. “Since 2019, we have registered for Nissan Van, however, we have gained nothing until now,” said a protesting customer. More importantly, the IRGC is the main shareholder of Saipa automaker company, which produces Nissan Vans.
Rally of Copa Car’s Customers
In Tehran, a number of customers of Copa car produced by Reagan automaker company held a rally about the unclear fate of their investments. During their rally in front of the Iran Consumer and Producer Protection Organization (CPPO), citizens whose money has been plundered by corrupt individuals protested officials for issuing licenses without precise scrutiny.
“Here is Tehran, between Valiasr and Jordan Streets. For two years, these people have purchased Copa car from Reagan Khodro company, represented by Shahr-e Khodro firm. The company received money and settlements. However, there were no cars, and they practically sold nonexistence cars to the people,” a citizen said.
Dehdasht Petrochemical Workers’ Rally
In Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, employees and workers of Dehdasht petrochemical plant staged a rally, demanding their arrears. During their rally held in front of the facility, workers protested employers’ indifference to their dire living conditions.
Notably, while the novel coronavirus has swept the country, many employers refuse to pay the workers’ minimum paychecks. In such circumstances, workers must endanger their health and hold gatherings to achieve their inherent rights. In several cases, government-backed employers call the state security forces (SSF) to suppress protesters. However, impoverished workers have no option but to continue their protests to feed their families.