Civil Unrest in Iran: Brutality, Rebellion, and Solidarity

Since December 27, 2017, the people of Iran have found themselves engaging in deadly clashes with government security forces. Political protests are rare in Iran, and this particular protest has left 20 people dead and 450 arrested from December 30 through January 3.

The unpredictable elections in 2009 left many Iranians frustrated; they believe that the government has repressed their social and political freedoms. The first sign of protests was seen on December 28 in the city of Mashhad, because of the noticeable rise in living costs and the stunting of Iran’s economy. The growth of Iran’s economy is still too slow for working-class Iranians in need of employment with higher wages.

As a result, demonstrators demand better living conditions and the removal of the Islamic Republic. Chants and attacks on government buildings have been set in motion, with some protesters shouting, “Death to the dictator!”–referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who claims the protests have been encouraged by Iran’s “enemies.” Most protesters are young and unemployed, and they sacrifice their lives in protest because they have nothing left to lose.