Anti-government protests in Iran gain traction as oil workers go on strike

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Anti-government protests in Tehran in wake of Mahsa Amini death
Anti-government protests in Tehran in wake of Mahsa Amini death   -   Copyright  Hawre Khalid/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.

Anti-government protests in Iran are continuing into their second month, and now workers at two oil refineries in the country have joined in, by staging strikes. 

Activists say dozens of people have been killed in a harsh crackdown by authorities, with hundreds more imprisoned. 

Protests began when 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman of Kurdish origin, died a few days after being arrested and interrogated by the morality police in Tehran. 

She had allegedly failed to observe the Islamic republic's strict dress code for women.

The protest movement has grown since then, with female students in particular defying police by taking off their head coverings, cutting their hair, and posting videos online of demonstrations against the country's ruling theocracy in classrooms. 

The strikes at oil refineries are somewhat eminiscent of the Iranian revolution that took place four decades ago. At the time, a combination of mass protests and strikes by oil workers and shopkeepers helped to sweep the clergy to power.