The antigovernment movement in Iran continued Monday with demonstrations at universities, clashes on streets and strikes of workers of petrochemical plants in the south.
Protests started Monday morning in several universities across the country. According to social media videos, the clashes at the Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Tehran were so violent that people compared them with the incidents at the Sharif University earlier in October in which a large number of students were beaten and arrested.
Security forces in the University of Mazandaran in northern Iran violently cracked down on a demonstration by students who were chanting to gather support for the protests.
Azad University of Shahr-e Kord, the capital city of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, the Art University of Tabriz in northwestern Iran, the Persian Gulf University in the southern province of Bushehr and Ardabil University of Medical Sciences were also scenes of gatherings by students who were chanting antigovernment slogans.
Later Monday evening, security forces were reported to have attacked women’s dormitories in the city of Rasht in northern Gilan province, beating and terrifying the students.
In addition to university students, high schoolers have also joined the protests – sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old girl from the Kurdish majority city of Saqqez.
Schoolgirls have become especially engaged in the protests since the death of a student, identified as Asra Panahi, who died of internal bleeding after she was beaten by Basij paramilitary forces who attacked their school in the city of Ardabil. School officials tried to force the students to sing the propaganda song “Hello Commander” in praise of Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei, but when some students refused, government agents showed up, beating and assaulting the girls. Another student is reportedly hospitalized in critical condition.
In several cities, including the capital Tehran and Karaj, schoolgirls are seen spraying black paint on pictures of Supreme Leader Khamenei, and replacing it with a photo of Mahsa Amini.
The nationwide protests are backed by many workers in the oil industry who have been holding strikes for at least a week now. At least 100 striking employees of Assalouyeh petrochemical plant off the coasts of the Persian Gulf have been arrested in the past few days while many are being threatened to be fired if they do not break their strike. Despite the threats, more sections of the company announced on Monday that they will join the strikes on Tuesday.
The streets in many cities were also the battleground between people and security forces on Monday from noon through the night, with reports of bloody skirmishes in the city of Abdanan, located in the south of Ilam province, and Piranshahr in in West Azarbaijan province as well as Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchestan Province.
A video from the central province of Esfahan showed a man throwing a Molotov cocktail at the entrance of the seminary of the city of Fouladshahr.