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Iranians Continue Protests; at Least 29 Rallies and Strikes from March 10 to 14

From March 10 to 14, Iranian citizens held at least 29 protests in different provinces, venting their anger over officials' mismanagement.
From March 10 to 14, Iranian citizens held at least 29 protests in different provinces, venting their anger over officials' mismanagement.

From March 10 to 14, the people of Iran staged at least 29 rallies and protests in different cities over officials’ failure to meet their inherent demands. On March 14, retirees and pensioners once again rallied in 21 cities across 15 provinces, blaming officials for failing to meet their demands.

Furthermore, farmers, creditors, and water staff staged five protests in different cities. On the other hand, locals and residents held three rallies and gatherings, protesting officials and government-backed institutions for plundering and damaging people’s properties and natural resources.

 

Rally of Ferdawan Residents

Isfahan province—on March 10,  residents of the districts of Ferdawan, Sepas, and Sarcheshmeh staged a gathering in front of the Provincial Governorate. They protested the plundering policies of the Astan-e Quds Razavi officials.

“For 300 years, these people have been living in these districts. However, Astan-e Quds Razavi officials have currently claimed that these lands had been endowed to this institution, and residents must evacuate these areas,” said a protester.

Astan-e Quds Razavi has raised this issue without documents and evidence. All the residents are concerned about being displaced. Now, they have gathered in front of the Provincial Governorate to voice their protests. They urged provincial officials to help them,” another protester said.

Farmers’ Protest

Isfahan province—on March 11, farmers from the Darcheh district, in the east of Isfahan, held a rally, protesting the local power plant’s exploitation of the water. In response, outraged farmers took away the plant’s water pipe.

“To protest the Darcheh power plant’s illegal action, farmers have held a gathering. Officials have embanked this place from 2:00 to 6:00 am. This action is illegal. We pursue and defend our rights… Every day, they practice a new trick,” said a farmer.

“The plant was supposed to make a commitment to use sewage instead of potable water, which it used to use up, and refine it. It was supposed to use sewage in exchange for reducing the consumption of potable water. Without making a commitment, they came and made a road inside the river’s path last night at 2:00 am,” said a protester.

“Why do you take such actions? Why did you not make a commitment? We have no problem with using the sewage, but why do you not make a commitment, and why do you make a road at 2:00 am? We will not let you use the water if you are not obligated. We will resist. We will remain here to ensure our rights,” the protester added.

 

Protest of Residents

Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad province—on March 11, residents of the Jadval Ghoureh Mokhtar village in Boyer Ahmad district held a rally in front of the Provincial Governorate in Yasouj. They protested the government’s recent plan named Hadi.

According to the plan, the government intends to build new roads in the village. “The people are concerned about the Hadi plan. For example, a garden had turned into residential units or the other way around. In some cases, agricultural land had been placed out of the plan or had integrated into another land. The people had frequently followed up the issue but obtained no results. It is impossible to turn people’s yards into streets without their permission,” said a resident.

 

Rally of Livestock Farmers

Fars province—livestock farmers in Kovar county, held a rally in front of the Agriculture Office. They protested officials’ failure to provide feed for farms. They also expressed their disappointment over the high prices of feed as well as the government’s disastrous decision to control the price of milk and meat.

“Bankrupt livestock farmers can no longer endure the officials’ imprudence. The government should pay the subsidies of mild and meat, not at the expense of oppressed farmers,” protesters had written on a banner.

“Production=Bankruptcy” and “250cc of soft drinks, 45,000 rials [$0.18] = 1kg of milk, 45,000 rials [$0.18],” read the placards.

 

Rally of Farmers

West Azarbaijan province—on March 12, farmers in Naqadeh held a rally in front of the Sugarcane factory, seeking seed remittances. They protested officials’ failure to provide adequate seeds, which had led to creating long queues amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

“Officials could deliver seeds in different places and times, preventing long queues from forming. However, they gathered all farmers in one place at the weekend,” said protesters.

 

Residents Protest the Lead and Zinc Mine’s Activities

Alborz province—on March 12, in a unique action, residents of Nasser-Abad village in Kajour district blocked roads leading to the lead and zinc mine. They planted around 200 native trees in the Golestanak district in the heart of Hirkani forests.

One month ago, dozens of residents had rallied in front of the mine, protesting and condemning the continuation of activities of lead and zinc mining exploration.

At the time, locals demanded an end to the mine’s activities due to their harmful consequences on public health. Meanwhile, given the scale of destruction imposed on the environment and natural resources, protesters urged a complete stop to the mine’s activities, including studies, exploration, and exploitation.

 

Rally of Azvico Creditors

Tehran province—on March 13, customers of the East Azarbaijan-based Azvico automaking company held a rally in front of the Court for Economic Corruptions. They blamed officials for failing to provide their cars after three years.

In recent years, these people had frequently gathered in front of different government offices, expressing their ire against the company.

Notably, high-ranking commanders of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), including the IRGC coordinator Mohammad Reza Naghdi, are among the Azvico company’s shareholders.

Previously, the Azvico company was accused of receiving more than $200 million from the government’s fund and not returning it. Furthermore, the company had falsely sold MG360 automobiles to around 5,000 customers. The company has yet to deliver registered automobiles to customers despite receiving a massive amount of money.

 

Rally of Water Organization Staff

Khuzestan province—on March 13, workers of Ahvaz’s Water and Sewage Organization staged a gathering in front of the Provincial Governorate. They protested officials’ failure to pay their salaries and bonuses for two months.

“The government has failed to pay workers’ wages for several months. We urged officials to meet our demands amid the coronavirus situation,” said protesters.

“Aside from these two months, we have yet to receive our rights from April to July 2020. Moreover, the government has refrained from paying our insurances for several months,” workers added.

“All of the water staff in this city and other cities across the province are working under the responsibility of one or a few contract companies. We all have arrears. To make ends meet and feed their families, some of the workers resorted to vending or transferring goods after working hours,” explained a protester.

 

Retirees’ Countrywide Protests in 21 Cities

For the eighth time in a row, retirees, pensioners, and welfare recipients affiliated with the Social Security Organization held rallies in Tehran and 20 cities across the country. They gathered in front of the organizations’ representations and governorates.

“In addition to Tehran, retirees in rallied in front of the Social Security Offices in the cities of Khorramabad, Karaj, Yazd, Ahvaz, Tabriz, Arak, Isfahan, Rasht, Mashhad, Ardabil, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Shushtar, Ilam, Kerman, Abhar, Bojnourd, Shush and Haft Tappeh, Abadan, and Dezful,” stated the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on March 14.

“The protesters were also complaining that even their mere pensions are often delayed for several months. Protesting the regime’s corrupt economic policies, resulting in nothing but devastating poverty and deprivation for tens of millions across Iran,” wrote the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) on its official website.

“High prices and inflation are killing people!” “Our country sits on treasures; retirees live in hardships!” and “Our main demand is pensions based on the inflation rate!” chanted protesters.

NCRI President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi described the retirees’ continuous protests as an act of protest by the entire Iranian nation against the pillaging of their rights by the ruling religious fascism. She added that as the protesting retirees were chanting, “no nation has seen such injustice.” The NCRI’s President-elect underscored that so long as the mullahs’ dictatorship remains in power, unemployment, inflation, corruption, injustice, and class differences will only increase.

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Iranians Continue Protests; at Least Eight Rallies and Strikes on March 10