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Jordan strikes back against protesting teachers 

September 9, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Thousands of Jordanian teachers gather near government headquarters, during a protest demanding a 50% hike in their salaries in Amman, Jordan on September 05, 2019 [Laith Joneidi / Anadolu Agency]

Streets in Jordan have been blocked as teachers launched a strike demanding the government follow through with a 2014 agreement to increase their salaries.

In response to the mass strikes, the government has deployed a heavy security presence across the capital Amman. Tear gas was used to disperse crowds during yesterday’s protests with teachers being confronted with violence at the hands of local police officers.

Social media users shared footage and images of the protesters and the security forces and police’s actions against them.

Using the hashtag Amman, Twitter user Rick Hindi shared a Google Map image of the blockaded roads in the capital Amman on Thursday, when the protests began, captioned “Umm what’s going on”.

Jaber Besan highlighted the police’s violation of the protesters’ rights to free expression. Those taking part in the demonstrations, Jaber said, were threatened with arrest or attacked with tear gas. The police were “paralyzing the whole city center”, he added. Using the Arabic hashtag “teachers sit-in”, Jaber described the government as “trying to prevent a peaceful act of demonstrations!”

The strikes, Taghreed Risheq said, could be “one of the worst crisis the country has seen in recent history”.

GeoPolitis shared an image of a “deserted” classroom with only three children in it as a result of the ongoing strike.

Highlighting the plight of teachers, former Amman based journalist Aaron Magid shared details of Faisal Al Zubi who teaches industrial design. Faisal earns 214 dinars ($301) per month for eight months of the year. “I’m not able to get married because I don’t have enough money to invest in a house or to be able to support a family,” Faisal explained.

Deputy head of the Jordan Teachers’ Syndicate Nasser Al-Nawasrah said: “The government turned its back on us,” adding: “Despite various attempts, we still have not met with the prime minister.”

Twitter user Sheree Alsayed described Amman as “shameful” for arresting peaceful teachers who protested and humiliating them by stripping them naked in police stations.

Teachers have promised to continue their strike until the government answers their calls.

READ: Teachers in Jordan strike indefinitely