On Tuesday, March 9, citizens in Iran held at least eight rallies and protests in different cities over officials’ failure to meet their inherent demands.

Railroad workers, stockholders, teachers, oil forces, creditors, landowners, and medical staff held these rallies in various cities of the country. They expressed their anger over the regime’s failure to meet their demands.

Rally of Railroad Workers

Alborz province—based on a prior notice, which was sent to the Governor, Provincial Governor, and Friday Prayer Imam, railroad workers launched a strike in Karaj, the province’s capital.

In their notice, protesters had informed influential authorities that they would begin a strike due to the regime’s failure to pay their salaries and insurance rights for several months. Workers announced that they would continue the strike to obtain their demands.

“We did not receive insurance rights for 12 months, salaries for two months, and the Nowruz bonus [the new year in the Persian calendar]. There is not even bread in our food baskets,” wrote a protester on a paper.

Rally of Stockholders

Tehran province—stockholders of the Tehran Stock Market held a rally in front of Tehran’s Bourse Organization. They blamed officials for betrayal.

“In political rivalries, the bourse has become hostage,” “Death to this deceitful government,” “Legal [sectors] support the [Bourse] organization’s plundering,” and “We have been plundered,” chanted protesters.

Notably, in November 2019 and April 2020, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, respectively, incited people to invest in the stock market. However, they only compensated for the state’s massive budget deficits. Then, they left thousands of shareholders, which severely prompted citizens’ outrage.

In response, stockholders staged several protests and rallies in front of government offices like the Parliament (Majlis), venting their anger at the entire ruling system and its systematic corruption.

Rally of Teachers

Fars province—a group of teachers, held a rally in the Education Department’s yard in Shiraz, the province’s capital. They protested the government’s indifference toward their dilemmas.

They blamed the Education Ministry, Majlis, and the government for removing severance rights of college graduates and abnormal conditions of education.

In recent months, teachers, trainers, preschool educators, and members of the Literacy Movement held several rallies in various cities, protesting the Education Ministry’s failure to meet their demands.

They warned about the collapse of intellectuals’ trusts and compared it with the destruction of the education system in its entirety. 

Rally of Temporary Forces of the Oil Ministry

Tehran province—temporary-contract forces of the Oil Ministry held a gathering in front of the Majlis. They protested officials for institutionalizing discrimination between themselves and official forces.

According to protesters, the ministry monthly pays at least 150 million rials [$600] while pays a contract worker only 40 million rials [$160] per month. Notably, based on official estimations, the poverty line in Iran is 100 million rials [$400] for a family of four, meaning these workers and their family members live below the poverty line.

“Contract workers are tolerating the burden of the country’s oil industry. However, the Oil Ministry recognizes official forces’ rights and privileges. Contract workers receive lower salaries while there is no difference between them and official workers according to the labor law,” said protesters.

Rally of Dey Bank Creditors

Tehran province—a group of stockholders of Dey Bank, staged a gathering in front of the Bank’s main branch in Valiasr Street. They protested the Bank’s delay in announcing the value of its stocks in the Bourse.

Previously, on January 1 and 9, stockholders rallied in front of this building, blaming the managing board for economic crimes. “In a flagrant violation, rent-seeking, and destruction of stocks’ procedure, Dey Bank’s managing board delayed an announcement of the increase in the bank’s capital,” protesters said.

At the time, protesters criticized the Bonyad-e Shahid [Martyr Foundation] chief Saeed Ohadi and Dey Bank CEO Gholamreza Khalil Arjomandi for their corruption.

Rally of Landowners

Gilan province—residents of Chaf and Chamkhaleh cities held a rally, protesting officials’ decision for plundering their lands. According to protesters, the Bonyad Maskan [Housing] and Urban Development Foundation affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) intends to confiscate people’s ancient lands.

Notably, a day in advance, security agents violently tried to disperse protesters. However, the people resisted, forcing brutal agents to escape.

“Campaign for Defense of Our Ancient Lands,” landowners had written on their banner, adding, “We the people of Chaf and Chamkhaleh cities well severely defend our ancient lands together and would not allow any organization to seize our lands.”

Rally of Railroad Workers

Lorestan province—for the fourth day in a row, railroad workers of Lorestan-Zagros Traverse continued their strike, holding a rally in front of the Provincial Railroad Office.

They protested officials for failing to pay their overdue salaries, Nowruz bonus, and other privileges. Notably, this strike inspired other railroad workers to raise their voices for their inherent rights.

“Officials are not accountable… We do not have job security… We even need bread to feed our families… We have yet to have medical insurance… We did not receive our salaries for months,” wrote protesters on their banner.

Rally of Medical Staff

Alborz province—health and medical staff of the Imam Ali hospital in Karaj, the province’s capital, held a rally in front of the hospital. They protested officials’ failure to pay their salaries and to create normal job conditions.

They blamed officials for exploiting the coronavirus crisis as a means to take advantage. “In the name of coronavirus, the managers took their advantages,” protesters chanted.

Iranians Continue Protests; at Least Five Rallies and Strikes on March 8