The chemical terrorist attacks on students, especially the students of girls’ schools, are one of the most vicious acts of the Islamic Republic’s play. The vast scope of the attacks rules out the rulers’ claim in attributing them to “rogue groups” or opposition forces. Only one governing body can attack dozens of schools in dozens of cities on such a large scale, with such geographical extent and coordination, in front of all the CCTV cameras and security and police patrols and not be jeopardized. Only the angry “hezbollah brothers” can return to their bases proudly and safely after the operation. Which operation? The cowardly assaulting of female students not on days of struggle but on days of education and training. These are the same female students who disobeyed and humiliated the regime agents during the uprising, threw them out of schools, showed up in class, school, and the streets with flowing hair, pulled down the pictures of the murderous supreme leader from the walls, and put their bodies against the batons, the shockers, the pellet guns, and military bullets. The disgraceful Islamic Republic has internalized such an anti-woman and anti-freedom attitude that instead of a limited but rational retreat to manage the situation, it cannot tolerate the existence of “women” and “freedom” behind the walls of schools.
This assault is also organized against the institution of schools – not only as an educational institution but also as a place to gather and talk and experience social life despite the authoritarian and fanatic educational system. It is the place that showed its possibilities in the uprising and its ability to connect students to the street outside family domination.
Now, trade unions and civil institutions have mobilized against the barbaric attacks. Teachers’ trade unions, women’s communities and organizations, student organizations, and revolutionary committees formed during the uprising have called on the people, especially female students’ families, to resist the demonic attacks. At the same time, many families have spontaneously gathered in front of schools and education departments to defend their children’s fundamental right to life and health and, when necessary, engaged with repression forces. The “judicious people” – instead of bowing their heads and pursuing demands through official and legal channels – have realized the liberating tradition of the street. They are facing the repressive will of the ruler with the weapon of the streets.
These innovative and creative forms of resistance are undoubtedly commendable, but they are not enough. Many long-distance “experts” of the opposition industry have expressed their shrewd opinion that families should avoid sending their children to school to save their lives! As usual, the opposition assists the ruling apparatus. They don’t explain how not sending female students to school will help to resist the terrorist attack of the ruling order on the right to education of female students. Closing schools promotes exactly what the ruling system is seeking: closure of girls’ schools and temporary exclusion of female students from the right to study at school.
In contrast, teachers’ trade unions, women’s organizations and communities, student organizations, and revolutionary committees formed during the uprising have rightfully encouraged students, their families, teachers, and the general public to resist the flood of terrorist attacks. They have asked them to defend students’ right to education, especially female students, by appearing in the streets and gathering in front of the education departments on March 7th. However, let us remember that “resistance” is always a collective and organized matter. Unstructured and unorganized masses may come to the streets for a while, driven by anger and oppression. Still, the ruling apparatus will crush and push back the masses. The solution may be to supplement the calls to protest in the streets with creativity in the matter of organizing the resistance. These creativities may seem trivial and obvious until an organized will puts them into action.
The prior organization of teachers’ unions, student organizations, and women’s communities and organizations, regardless of its level and extent, is a tremendous and essential possibility to resist the ruler’s will to close schools and force female students to stay home. Establishing joint committees among school teachers, students, and their families to protect students’ right to education is precisely what should be done to bring this resistance to completion and move toward organizing the social movement through it. The level of participation of students in such committees varies according to their education level. Higher-level students must directly participate in these committees. The students who were the main subjects of the Zhina uprising can now not only participate in neutralizing the ruler’s demonic plan but also turn the situation into a possibility to organize against the totality of the ruling order.
The social possibilities of protest must be sought and built on real grounds. In these few days, we have witnessed the presence of boy students in the streets in defense of girls’ right to education. Therefore, such committees can even go beyond their schools to get help from the residents of the neighborhoods and other schools’ students to protect the schools.
All this does not happen by miracle. Organization, in the pure sense of the word, is an endeavor. Hence, the prior organization of teachers’ unions, student organizations, and women’s communities and organizations is vital, valuable, and effective for creative organizations in defense of schools and girls’ right to education. Only organized groups can think of true organization, plan for it, and take action toward it. Let’s remember that resistance in any situation and in any case must be a collective and organized matter.