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Students In Iran Hold Anti-Government Rallies Chanting 'Freedom', 'Unity'

Students protesting during Student Day at University of Tehran, December 7, 2019
Students protesting during Student Day at University of Tehran, December 7, 2019

Videos posted on various social media platforms show students in Iran chanting anti-government slogans in several Iranian universities during the annual Student Day gatherings.

A huge presence of plainclothesmen in universities and security forces outside campuses can be seen.

Pictures and videos posted on social media show students holding placards that read: "People's Tables Plundered in Bloody Month of Aban" in reference to the three-fold increase of gasoline price which led to mass protests throughout the country and left hundreds of protesters dead.

In this photo, one placard reads, "Work, bread, freedom, collective rule".

In these videos students are seen chanting slogans about the killing of innocent people during November protests, students' unity with workers, people's resistance and against “neoliberalist” policies of the government.

Students have also been changing slogans against various regime officials including President Hassan Rouhani who has avoided the Student Day gatherings this year and Chief Justice Ebrahim Raeesi who will be addressing a separate rally by Basij militia students at Tehran University.

This video shows the presence of police and plainclothesmen around Tehran University since early morning hours.

Normally Iran's president attends the Student Day rally in one of the universities and addresses the students. This year President Hassan Rouhani has avoided the occasion, possibly anticipating strong protests.

Iranian security forces last week said they had arrested at least 50 students in various universities as a "preventative measure", presumably to prevent Student Day rallies from turning into anti-government protests. The Intelligence Ministry statement said a network it had arrested intended to cause "disturbance and clashes" on December 7 but their plan was foiled.

Student rallies have been held on December 7 to commemorate a rally in 1953 during which three students protesting the official visit of the U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon were killed.

In this video, protesting students call for "unity".