Tuesday's Protest

An estimated 50,000 teachers marched in the West Bank in Palestine this week seeking pay justice. The teachers are demanding that the Palestinian Authority honour a 2013 agreement on salaries, which would bring them in line with other government employees.

The PA put a ring of steel round the city of Ramallah in an attempt to stop bus loads of teachers from protesting in front of the Council of Ministers. Checkpoints were set up round the city and teachers sent back. This tactic is an echo of that deployed by Israeli occupying forces who subject people going about their legitimate business to continual checkpoints and security checks. Nevertheless the efforts did not succeed and thousands reached the council buildings. One teacher told reporters: "I arrived in Ramallah after four hours of trying. I'm not a criminal, we are here to demand our dignity as others from government jobs - this is our right!"

The strike is in its second week, despite attempts by the leadership of the teachers union to broker an agreement with the government and persuade teachers to return to work. Teachers say they will stay out on strike until their demands are met. Many school students have joined in the demonstrations in support of their teachers.

The repressive tactics of the PA have only exacerbated the situation - 22 teachers were detained for 24 hours last week for taking part in the strike.