The Crimean Tatars could withstand years of deportation, creating an unprecedented network of grassroots activism solidarity, the collective trauma becoming a common ground for political mobilisation. The movement for return for Crimea has existed from 1957 until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, becoming the longest dissident movement in the USSR. Hundreds of arrests with subsequent deportation to camps did not manage to break Crimean Tatars . One of the mass petitions submitted to the XXIII communist party congress saw almost 120000 Crimean Tatars – practically the entire adult population – courageously sign a demand for the reparations This organisation and politicisation has, time and again, permitted Crimean Tatars to attain acquittal or suspended sentences for activists – in the Soviet Union as well as later in Ukraine. In the conditions of current Crimean occupation, this solidarity has supported political prisoners, not letting them be abandoned them in their confrontation with a repressive government. Crimean Tatars do not only attend endless appeals and court hearings in Crimean cities, but also in Rostov-on-Don and Moscow. “Crimean Solidarity” takes care not only of their legal defence, but also of their families.
Ayşe Seytmuratova got a suspended sentence of 3 years instead of a prison sentence after protests in 1967.
The practice of land reclamation was defended in 1992 in Alushta from an attack of special police forces Not only has the defence resulted in open confrontation with the authorities, who have attempted to take the lands away, but also to subsequent squatting of lower floors of the Parliament building in Simferopol and demands to release those Crimean Tatars, who were arrested during the confrontation. All twenty-six of the arrested Crimean Tatars were released in light of the pressures applied by thousands of protesters.