Friday, May 8, 2009

Security agents attack teachers!

Security and law-enforcement agents, some dressed as plain-clothesmen on Sunday beat ‎up about 200 teachers who had gathered in front of the Ministry of Education to declare ‎their work-related demands, dispersing meeting. The meeting is a culmination of protests ‎organized and held by teachers across Iran, which also included a refusal to teach in the ‎classrooms.‎

Last Sunday, a group of about 200 teachers gathered in front of the ministry building to ‎air their demands. As their numbers grew, they asked for a meeting with ministry ‎officials, particularly the Minister of Education Ali Ahmadi. But plain-clothesmen and ‎other law-enforcement agents who had also gathered from earlier hours in the vicinity ‎intervened and asked the protestors to break up and leave the area. The teachers ‎continued with their requests, which led to threats and finally violence.‎

As clashes began, 30 minutes into the gathering, teachers began a march as the whole ‎event was being filmed by different individuals. The police followed them in pursuit. ‎Eventually, this led to physical clashes between the two groups in which many teachers ‎were hurt. Among them was Mahmud Beheshti Langaroodi and Baghani, the leaders of ‎the group called Center for Teachers Guild. The police arrested some of the protestors ‎and led them away, only to release them at a later time, except for “Bedaghi”, a member ‎of the guild.‎

Despite the violence and the dispersion of the protesting teachers, the law enforcement ‎forces remained in the area for hours later, until about 3pm. These forces were flanked by ‎plain-clothes agents who carried communication radios.‎

Speaking about the protests and the clashes that ensued, one guild member said, “We will ‎certainly respond to this, the specifics of which we will know once we speak to others in ‎the provinces.”‎

Reports indicate that similar protests and gatherings were held in front of provincial ‎ministry of education buildings, which also led to clashes with the police.‎

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