What is Iran’s cleric-led government’s most recent obstacle as it tries to put an end to weeks of anti-government protests? Schoolgirls.
Videos on social media seen by NBC News show Iranian girls defying conventional symbols of authority in schoolyards and classrooms as protests rock the nation in the wake of Mahsa Amini’s murder while in the morality police’s custody.
One from Tuesday shows students heckling a speaker at a platform in front of them while waving their headscarves and pumping their fists in the air. The pupils can be heard yelling, “Basiji, go and get lost!” in a school in Shiraz, a city in Iran’s southwest. ”
Another stirring video, also from Tuesday, was posted on Twitter by the Center for Human Rights in New York and depicts a few schoolgirls singing the anti-government song “For” by Iranian musician Shervin Hajipour while standing in front of a blackboard. The song became the unofficial hymn of the women-led protests after going viral on social media.
This video cannot be independently verified by NBC News.
However, following news of his arrest by Iranian police earlier this month, the song’s audio was taken down from Hajipour’s Instagram account.
“It’s an indication that this is a struggle for the future,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran. “This is young people realizing that it’s a battle for their future, and that they have to be a prominent part of it. Their parents have failed to bring about change and they want to have a better life. I think that’s what’s motivating young people to be so vocal.”