Iranians go on strike across country as Student Day protests begin

Student Day commemorates the murder of three students by the Shah's police force in 1953.

 Iranian boy protests in unknown location. November 2022 (photo credit: 1500tasvir)
Iranian boy protests in unknown location. November 2022
(photo credit: 1500tasvir)

Iranians went on strike across the country on Monday as protesters began a three-day protest movement coinciding with "Student Day," a commemoration of the murder of three university students by the Shah's police force.

Video from cities and towns throughout Iran showed businesses shuttered, including in Tehran, Isfahan, Bushehr, Shiraz, Rasht, Kerman, Tabriz, Mashhad, Marivan, Sanandaj, Arak, Javanrud and Saqez, among many other locations.

Strikes have been reported throughout the ongoing protests, with businesses in Kurdish areas striking almost constantly since the protests began over 11 weeks ago.

Video shared by the 1500tasvir account from the Cheragh Barq Alley in Tehran showed protesters chanting "death to the dictator" and "freedom, freedom, freedom" on Monday morning.

Protesters chant "freedom, freedom" and "death to the dictator" in Tehran, December 5, 2022 (Credit: 1500tasvir)

Footage shared online also showed protests in the Tehran metro and in Hamedan on Monday afternoon.

In recent days, protesters began distributing leaflets and posting online calling for Iranians to join mass, nationwide protests from Monday to Wednesday when Student Day is marked. Signs were also hung on bridges and overpasses along highways in Tehran and other cities sharing the call for protests.

What is Student Day?

Student Day, which is commemorated by both supporters and opponents of the Islamic Republic, commemorates the 1953 murder of three university students by police during the Pahlavi regime. The three were killed after the Shah's police forces opened fire on students of the University of Tehran who were protesting the restoration of diplomatic ties with the United Kingdom.

Workers' unions express solidarity with protesters

The Organizing Council for Protests of Oil Contract Workers published a statement supporting the calls for strikes and protests noting that teachers, medical staff and doctors, truck drivers, market shopkeepers and people in different cities have expressed their solidarity with the protesters.

"This is a protest against repressions, continued arrests and shooting at protesting people, issuance of martial law for youth and people who are in pain, and actually for all of us who are crushed by poverty and insecurity and are protesting," wrote the organizing council, demanding that arrested protesters be released.

"For us people, there is no other way but united struggle to defend our lives. We all have the same slogan: women, life, freedom."

The Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Labor Syndicate, Coordinating Committee to Help Establish Labor Organizations and the Retiree Union Group also expressed support for the planned protests in a joint statement, writing "This great day, which has been the manifestation of students' bravery and demand for rights, has become a symbol of students' struggle for freedom in a long process, for nearly seventy years."

"The continuation of student struggles on the anniversary of this day after the fall of the monarchy in Iran is a sign of the continuation and intensification of inequality, the increase of sexual oppression and humiliation of women, the torture and beating, the imprisonment and killing of freedom-loving and right-seeking women and girls, the intensification of severe religious, national, ethnic and class discrimination, suppression of the most basic demands of the people and religious and military tyranny in the Islamic Republic system."

"In defense of their children, the workers and other working and deprived sections of the society condemn the arrest and imprisonment of students as well as the sending of repression forces to the university environment. Against any attack on students and universities, the workers and the toiling masses must and will react."

Meanwhile, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warned on Monday that Iranian security forces "will not hesitate to deal decisively and authoritatively with rioters, armed thugs and hired terrorists of the enemy."