by Yevgeny Lerner
Many would-be “peacemakers” on the political right as well as on the political left, including even some on the libertarian left, have “very helpfully” suggested that Ukraine should give up some territories, which they describe as “Russian-speaking,” in order to appease the aggressor.
Land for Peace?
This is of course absurd on many levels. To start with, we know now that it was exactly such appeasement in 2014 that laid the groundwork for today’s ongoing full-scale invasion. Putin clearly wasn’t satisfied with what he could grab in 2014, so he sent his army to march on Kyiv in 2022. Giving Putin yet more bits of Ukraine, or even legitimizing his 2014 land grabs, will most likely only encourage him to march on Kyiv once again in another five to 10 years. Kyiv is after all, in the motherfucker’s own words, “the mother of all Russian cities.”
Appeasement does not bring peace. And if the early phases of the Second World War provide the classic general illustration for the principle, then the escalatory arc of Putin’s decades-long campaign to seize control of Ukraine reaffirms it in this particular case.
Now as to the question of language, it is a complete red herring. After a year and a half of Moscow’s daily atrocities, and the grisly horrors uncovered after every Russian retreat, you won’t find many “Russian speaking” Ukrainians cheering for the invader.
Nevertheless, when these self-styled “peacemakers” lay out exactly how Ukraine should be unmade piece by piece, Crimea is always the first territory mentioned. Crimea is, after all, by far the most “Russian speaking” region in Ukraine. And it’s been under Moscow’s control since unmarked Russian troops and Wagner mercenaries, the infamous “Little Green Men,” seized it nine years ago; when Putin’s longstanding ambition to reconquer Ukraine first attained the character of a military invasion.
So these “peacemakers” point to Russia’s de facto control over the Crimean Peninsula, the peninsula’s majority ethnic Russian population, and the highly dubious referendum conducted by the occupying military force on the heels of the 2014 invasion.
As anarchists, we generally regard controversies over whether this or that state is the rightful master of this or that piece of land to be something that’s not worth having any kind of stake in. And we tend to have at least a broad conditional respect for genuine expressions of popular political will.
Whose Democracy: Settler Colonist Majoritarianism, or Indigenous Rights?
So the referendum almost makes it all seem like a convincing case for Moscow’s claim to Crimea, even if we recognize that it has no currency whatsoever as a peace token. But when we dig a little deeper, we find that this referendum was conducted with no independent observers, and by a military force sent by a Russian government that has an established track record of rigging elections—domestically, in Ukraine, as well as elsewhere.
The vote was also held in the context of an intense one-sided propaganda campaign. We also know that there was no real secret ballot. The ballots were dropped, without envelopes, into big transparent boxes, with armed Russian soldiers looking on. And while official Russian figures claimed a whopping 83% turnout and a 97% vote for annexation, a report that had been briefly published on the Russian President’s Human Rights Council website, cited a much more modest 30-50% turnout, with the vote for annexation being between 50 and 60%. We saw an even more obviously farcical performance of the same spectacle last year, when the Russian-occupied “Russian speaking” South Ukrainian city of Kherson similarly “voted overwhelmingly” for annexation, only to be liberated by Ukrainian forces to nearly universal local jubilation not two months later.
That’s almost beside the point however, because even if the anschluss referendum had been conducted with all of the institutional integrity and constitutional dignity of an Israeli Knesset election, from an anti-colonial perspective, it would still have been utterly illegitimate for the same reasons that we regard the State of Israel to be so. Because much like the demographics which frame Israeli so-called “democracy,” the modern demographics of Crimea were created by settler colonialism and a genocide that was carried out in living memory.
It should come as no surprise then that the indigenous people of the peninsula, the Crimean Tatars, overwhelmingly boycotted the sham referendum. Nor that the Mejlis (the executive council of the Qurultay, which is their elected legislature) has been an active participant in the Euromaidan coalition. Nor that in their civil rights movement’s first abnegation of nonviolence in its entire seven decade-long history, the newly formed Atesh partisan group has been making daring raids behind enemy lines since September.
Their active preference for Kyiv over Moscow has been longstanding. The Crimean Tatars may have been a tiny 4% minority in their homeland in 1991, but they were instrumental in pushing the vote in Crimea towards “YES” on Ukrainian independence; which was won by the narrowest margin in the country, and had the lowest overall turnout. Their civil rights movement organizations mounted a village-by-village get-out-the-vote effort, that brought almost their entire community to the polls. As the former chairman of the Mejlis, now the political leader of Atesh, the legendary Soviet-era dissident Mustafa Dzhemilev, recalled: “Our guiding principle was that our country is Ukraine. Our future lies in it.”
Who knows how a genuinely democratic 2014 referendum would have gone, with 2014’s 13-to-15% Crimean Tatar population? How would it have gone with a free and fair process, without armed military intimidation? How would it have gone in a Crimea where Russian military intelligence hadn’t been inflaming ethnic hatred against the Crimean Tatars for years before the invasion?
But even discounting these tempting counterfactuals, as anarchists, we must always take the side of an oppressed indigenous people in such a situation; and wholly disregard mere settler-colonial majoritarianism. This is certainly the case when it comes to Israel/Palestine, so why shouldn’t it also be the case when it comes to Crimea?
Crimean Tatar Ethnogenesis
The Crimean Tatars are the decedents of an amalgamation of various peoples (Greeks, Italians, Armenians, Scythians, Goths, etc) who had migrated to the peninsula over thousands of years. They underwent a slow and gradual process of Tatarization from around the 13th century, under the political dominance of the Cumans who arrived from Central Asia. And it was the Turkic language of the Cumans that has in large part formed the basis of the Crimean Tatar language, as well as the closely related languages of the two other, much smaller, Crimean indigenous groups: the Krymchaks and Crimean Karaites.
And that is also where they got the name “Tatar,” which refers to a Central Asian tribal confederation that the Cumans had belonged to. European geographers had for centuries mistakenly also referred to the entire swath of Central Asia as “Tartary,” and so the Russian Empire officially labeled most Turkic-speaking peoples living in its territories as “Tatars.”
Between the 15th and 18th centuries, Crimea was the seat of the Crimean Khanate, first a local successor state of the Golden Horde (itself a fragment of the Mongol Empire) and later a vassal under Ottoman protection. Besides Crimea itself, this Muslim polity also ruled the lower Dnieper, the lands surrounding the Sea of Azov, and the Western part of the Kuban region.
The First Russian Annexation of Crimea
Catherine the Great’s Russian Empire invaded and conquered Crimea in 1783, in blatant violation of a treaty which she had signed nine years earlier at the end of the 1768–1774 Russo-Turkish War, and which had guaranteed both Russian and Ottoman non-interference in Crimean affairs. One can’t help but hear the echo of this, the first Russian invasion and conquest of Crimea in 1783, in the last Russian invasion and conquest of Crimea in 2014. Here too Russia’s actions are in blatant violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Russia, the US, and the UK pledged to respect Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and borders, and to refrain from military and economic aggression against Ukraine, in exchange for the transfer of Ukraine’s portion of the Soviet nuclear arsenal to Russia, and Ukraine’s entry into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
But let’s get back to 1783. At first, the new Russian administration took what seemed like a somewhat conciliatory position. At least on paper, Catherine offered the Crimean Tatars a modicum of religious and cultural tolerance in exchange for absolute fealty and a willingness to become ‘civilized’ Russian subjects, and to serve in the Christian Russian army. There seemed to be a bit of a Through the Looking Glass quality to it all. One day, the Empress would be lecturing the French ambassador about how unacceptable it was for him to try to get a peek behind a pretty Muslim lady’s veil, and another day a Crimean Tatar cleric trying to approach her with a petition regarding religious persecution, carried out by her own soldiers, would be publically flogged. There’s your “enlightened despotism” for you.
Then there was the Russian enclosure of the Crimean commons. As the holdings of the former ruling Giray dynasty and the Beys who had fled in the wake of the Russian invasion were appropriated by the Empress and auctioned off to members of her court, Russian notions of property relations suddenly replaced the old Crimean ones. Under Islamic law and local custom, peasants had extensive rights to the land that they occupied, conditional only on meeting certain feudal obligations. The Russian concept of land ownership was rather different, and Crimean peasants were suddenly deprived of access to the woods, streams, fountains, and pastures that were integral to their way of life. The new landlords would, for example, divert water flows in order to charge fees for what had formerly been a common life-sustaining resource.
Suffice it to say that by 1790, about one third of the total Crimean Tatar population had been expelled or emigrated, mostly to Anatolia. By the 1850s, the Russian Orthodox clergy started converting mosques into churches, and working to “return” (as they put it) the Crimean Tatars to the Christian faith. They were after all, these churchmen reasoned, partially descended from Armenians, Greeks, and Goths. This, as well as constant land grabs by Russian nobles, which became especially frequent in the aftermath of the 1853–1856 Crimean War, served as the cause for further expulsions and migration.
An 1864 population survey was the last one that showed even a slim Crimean Tatar majority in their ancestral homeland, with the great imperial census of 1899 (the first and only complete survey of all of imperial Russia) being the last in which the local indigenous population constituted even a plurality. In total, somewhere between 400,000 and 800,000 Crimean Tatars emigrated or were expelled between the annexation of 1783 and the start of the 20th century.
May 18th 1944: Stalin’s Genocide against the Crimean Tatar People
None of this however can be even remotely compared to the murderous expulsion of 1944, the following years of humiliating unpersonhood, and the entire 45 years of state-enforced exile that was only to be lifted in 1989. For the Crimean Tatars, their Sürgünlik, their “exile,” is what the Holocaust is for my family, what the Nakba is for the Palestinian people. What the Trail of Tears is for the Cherokee Nation. Right on the heels of the Soviet recapture of the peninsula from occupying Nazi forces, the NKVD rounded up the entire Crimean Tatar population, between about 200,000 to 400,000 people, packed them into cattle cars at gunpoint, and sent them into a distant exile deep in Soviet Central Asia. Shortly after Crimea had been declared emptied of all its native Tatars, the NKVD found that they had “missed a spot,” a remote sandbar called the Arabat Spit. But instead of preparing another train, they simply loaded everyone onto an old boat, and sank it in the middle of the Azov Sea. They gunned down anyone who managed to escape the wreck.
And it should be noted here that these were overwhelmingly women, children, as well as men who were either too old or too disabled for military service. All able-bodied men of military age had already been either enlisted or conscripted into the Red Army well before the Nazis had taken Crimea. The men were separated from their families. Upon demobilization from the military, they were enlisted in Stalin’s forced labor army, and were only allowed to return to their families years later.
The death toll during the course of the grueling train journey itself, combined with the first few years of exile, was massive. Even the official Brezhnev-era KGB undercount had it at 22%. And according to the Crimean Tatars’ own census, which they managed to conduct during the Khrushchev Thaw in the late ’50s, 46% of their people were exterminated. No human provisions were made for a “population transfer” on the scale that was conducted. Families were crowded into locked train cars meant for livestock or cargo, with only a hole in the floor for a toilet. Many left with little other than the clothes on their backs, and were deposited in areas with harsh and unfamiliar climates. There, they were obligated to live either in tents or crude windowless mud huts, and with only reeds on the floor to sleep on. Many were conscripted into forced labor gangs, mining coal and doing construction work, 12 hours a day, seven days a week, on a daily diet of 200-400 grams of bread. Deserters were summarily shot.
And even families that had been settled in more survivable conditions were functionally kept as prisoners. They lived under strict NKVD watch, with 25-year terms of hard labor in a GULAG meted out to anyone caught more than four kilometers from their designated “special settlement.” The commandant’s permission was required for any trip beyond that four-kilometer mark, and it was unlikely to be given, even for a family funeral.
Meanwhile, back in Crimea’s mild and sunny clime, ethnic Russian settler colonists were immediately brought into the homes of the deported. The colonists took possession of their furniture, their clothes, their underwear, their bed linens, their children’s toys, and everything else that you can imagine. Some place names had of course been Russified right after the annexation and throughout the entire period of Russian imperial rule, but Stalin’s policy of total cultural genocide systematically banished Crimean Tatar place names from the landscape, tore down their mosques and cemeteries, and burned their books: from ancient manuscripts, to Marxist-Leninist texts in the Crimean Tatar language. The Crimean Autonomous SSR, in which the Crimean Tatars had special status as per Lenin’s old Indigenization policy, was dissolved into a mere oblast. Moreover, the very designation “Crimean Tatar” was removed from official government publications and documents, including the census and the “fifth line” on the passport, which recorded “nationality.” They were just undifferentiated “Tatars” now as far as the Soviet state was concerned, and suddenly native to Central Asia.
This was one of many brutal ethnic cleansing operations conducted against various Soviet national minorities, carried out by the NKVD throughout Stalin’s reign. The local Greeks, Bulgarians, and Armenians were also removed from Crimea that same year, but only the Crimean Tatars were erased as a nationality, and forced to stay in exile well into the Gorbachev years. Even the Chechen people were allowed to return home under Khrushchev, though some of them had actually used the German invasion as an opportunity to launch an insurrection for national independence, and had been massacred in their villages and deported as retribution just a few months before the ethnic minorities of Crimea met a similar fate.
The official justification for the genocidal policy against the Crimean Tatars was the charge that they had collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation, and therefore constituted a “Traitor People.” It should of course go without saying that imposing collective punishment on an ethnic basis—and to the point of genocide—is utterly monstrous and completely irrational on its face. And it should come as no surprise that no real evidence has ever been presented, either at the time of the deportation or since, that the rate of collaboration among the Crimean Tatar people was even significantly higher than average. And the fact of the matter is that the Nazis took most of their “helpers” along with them when they were forced to retreat, as they had on other occasions. Whereas, even those who had fought the Nazi occupation as partisans were prevented from returning home. Saide Arifova, for example, who had saved at least 88 Jewish children from the Nazis, and kept her silence under Gestapo torture, was loaded onto those trains with the rest. Additionally, because the NKVD was in a hurry and not especially good at distinguishing the Jewish Krymchaks from their Muslim neighbors, a large portion of those few Krymchaks who had managed to avoid extermination (75% had been murdered by the Germans) were also punished for “Nazi collaboration.”
So the Big Lie of “de-Nazification” as a pretext for genocide isn’t just something that Putin suddenly came up with last year, but a page straight out of Stalin’s playbook.
It should also be noted here that while ethnic Russians certainly provided at least their share of enthusiastic Nazi collaborators, no collective punishment of this sort was ever meted out against them as a group. Much like the old deposed Romanov monarchy, the Stalin regime broadly regarded ethnic Russians as the most “reliable” of Soviet subjects, and moved them in as settler colonists to replace all the various deported populations. Russians were certainly never targeted on an ethnic basis for the mere existence of the “Vlasov Army,” which fought on the German side, or the “Lokot Republic,” which had been carved out of Western Russia by Germany, and administered by locals on behalf of the occupying forces. A handful of known and accused collaborators were executed as one would expect, but the Russians were never branded a “Traitor People.”
The legal disabilities imposed on the Crimean Tatars in exile were by no means limited to draconian restrictions on movement. The right to education, for example, was also denied to them. At first, Crimean Tatars were not allowed to attend school beyond the 7th grade. Later liberalization of this policy allowed them to finish high school, and a further lifting of restrictions opened up the opportunity for post-secondary technical education, though the universities were still closed to them. Finally, after Stalin keeled over and died, the last formal restrictions on education were lifted. But even then, informal restrictions remained on many professions and fields of study, similar but more severe than those famously imposed on Soviet Jews.
The Long Hard Struggle for Repatriation
In 1967 the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued Decree 493, entitled On Citizens of Tatar Nationality Previously Residing in Crimea, which, while still conspicuously refusing to acknowledge their existence as “Crimean Tatars,” stated that the collective punishment imposed on them had been unfounded and unjust. Because this document declared the entire raison d’être for the deportation to be null and void, and functionally stated that the Crimean Tatars were now full and equal citizens of the USSR, it was interpreted by many to be the end of their long exile. The first Crimean Tatars to return home on the promise of this edict, however, quickly found that it was impossible for them to attain residency permits in Crimea—as per another, secret, state order. The Crimean Tatars, it turned, were free to live anywhere in the USSR— except for Crimea.
Nevertheless, in the first year since the publication of Decree 493, approximately 12,000 made the trip, only to be brought up on charges for having violated the internal passport regime due to the lack of a residency permit, to have the Crimean homes that they had bought demolished, and summarily kicked out. Only about 100 to 150 of them managed to find ways to stay, by hook or by crook. Even Abdraim Reshidov, a WWII fighter pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union, was only able to obtain a residency permit in his homeland after he had threatened to set himself on fire in Simferopol’s Lenin Square in protest.
With the typical Soviet chicanery of Decree 493, Moscow considered the matter to be closed. The official line was that the Crimean Tatars were of course free to return to Crimea, but had simply become attached to their exile, and didn’t really want to. In 1979, Crimean Tatars reappeared on the Soviet census in Crimea for the first time in four decades, though simply as undifferentiated “Tatars.” A grand total of 5,422 had managed to jump through all the hoops of fire necessary to repatriate since the proclamation of the decree, accounting for a fifth of a percentage point of the peninsula’s total population that year.
Crimean Tatar activists had been diligently petitioning for rehabilitation and repatriation since the 1950s. The first generation of their civil rights movement was mostly led by decorated Red Army veterans, and active Communist Party members, such as the celebrated WWII flying ace and two-time Hero of the USSR Amet-khan Sultan, and communist partisan Mustafa Selimov. These activists made heartfelt appeals to what they considered to be true Leninist principles, which they still had genuine faith in. The next generation tended to see things rather differently in light of Moscow’s intransigence, and continued persecution of even loyal, respectable Communists who dared to speak up for their people’s right to return home. As the youths who had grown up in exile started coming of age and taking a leading role in their national liberation struggle, many of them had become disenchanted with the entire Soviet project, made alliances within the broader Soviet dissident movement, and began to look towards the West.
After four decades of bitter struggle, protests, arrests, prison sentences, hunger strikes, self immolations, insults piled on top of indignities, glasnost and perestroika finally opened the door for mass repatriation, though not without further setbacks and hardships. In 1987, a commission of high Soviet officials was set up on Gorbachev’s order to deliberate on the subject, but it simply rejected every proposal and request of the Crimean Tatars’ national movement, based on the conceit that the peninsula’s demographics had simply changed too much since 1944 for repatriation to be viable. A year later, however, in the aftermath of a bloody nationalist riot in Uzbekistan, another commission was formed. The primary targets of this riot were Meskhetian Turks, who had also suffered a genocidal deportation from their Georgian homeland in 1944, but the violent Uzbek nationalists also burned Crimean Tatar homes, and it suddenly became clear as day that the “demographics” in Central Asia were not especially hospitable to continued Crimean Tatar habitation either. Unlike the first commission, this one actually included Crimean Tatar leaders in its deliberations, and it returned a markedly different result: all legal impediments specifically designed to keep Crimean Tatars out of their homeland were to be lifted.
But even after all this, repatriation remained an uphill battle. Despite the new laws that had been passed, it turned out that the local bureaucrats in Crimea were drawn from the same population of Russian settler colonists, still living in indigenous people’s stolen homes, who were now staging racist protests against the Peninsula’s returning native population, still calling them “traitors.” Local Russians even organized to buy up land to keep Crimean Tatars from moving in. So even after the bad old state orders had been rescinded, it still took marches, round-the-clock pickets, more hunger strikes, and even a couple of self immolations, to secure the necessary residency papers.
New difficulties presented themselves after the collapse of the USSR. The newly independent Ukrainian Republic did not actively stand in the way of repatriation, but didn’t provide anything in the way of accommodation either. The approximately 150,000 Crimean Tatars who had managed to return to their homeland by 1991 were automatically granted Ukrainian citizenship, but later returnees faced the same costly bureaucratic process as any other “immigrant,” and requests for land grants were largely denied. Most of the returnees ended up living in makeshift dwellings in rural areas, leaving them economically marginalized in a country which had itself infamously become a basket case, while Crimean Tatar language revitalization efforts received more aid from Ankara than from Kyiv. Nevertheless, nearly 260,000 Crimean Tatars were living in Crimea by 2001.
So while Moscow has undeniably been an enemy and tormentor of the Crimean Tatar people, as well as the architect of both their defining historical tragedy and the centuries of oppression that preceded it, Kyiv hasn’t always exactly been their stalwart patron and defender either. But even in the worst of times, the Republic of Ukraine has been merely indifferent or inattentive.
The situation in recent years, however, has become markedly better in this regard.
Conclusion: The Situation Today
In 2014, the High Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, finally recognized the Crimean Tatars as an indigenous people of Ukraine, and in 2015, the deportation was officially recognized and commemorated as a genocide. In 2021, indigenous status in Ukraine was finally written into law in a comprehensive way and given real legal force, as per another longstanding demand of the Crimean Tatar civil rights movement. This is all perhaps a day late and a hryvnia short, but it is something.
The Russian Federation on the other hand, much like the Soviet and Imperial Russian states to which it is the principal successor, has pursued an active policy of inflaming anti-Tatarism in Crimea since well before the occupation, beginning in the mid 2000s. Using the Black Sea Fleet headquarters (leased by Russia from Ukraine) at Sevastopol as its primary base of operations, Russian military intelligence has acted as a patron of local anti-Tatar Russian chauvinism, deliberately inflaming ethnic hatred in order to sow chaos in the aftermath of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, which had prevented Putin’s proxy Viktor Yanukovych from taking power after 2004’s rigged election.
In Ukraine, the Mejlis has had official standing with the Ukrainian government since 1999 as an advisory body to the President. Immediately following the Russian invasion in 2014, the Rada also explicitly recognized the Qurultay as the official representative body of the Crimean Tatar people, and Mejlis as the executive council of the Qurultay.
Under Russian occupation however, the Mejlis has been outlawed since 2016, its headquarters in Simferopol seized by Russian authorities as a part of a campaign of intimidation, repression, de-Tatarzation, and Russification.
Activists, community leaders, and journalists have been subject to long prison terms on trumped-up charges, as well as extra-legal abductions and outright murder at the hands of the occupation regime. Nor is this persecution strictly limited to community leaders, activists, and journalists. Many Crimean Tatars are also being harassed by law enforcement, apprehended and detained as they simply try to go about their day-to-day lives, sometimes with the intention of turning them as spies on other members of their community. Police searches of Crimean Tatar homes have become routine. Physical abuse and torture by law enforcement authorities has also been reported, as well as the highly disturbing return of the vile Soviet practice of using psychiatric confinement as a form of political repression. And much like many other non-Russian ethnic minorities under Moscow rule, Crimean Tatars have been specially targeted for military conscription in Russia’s imperialist war. Between 2017 and 2022, nearly 8,000 human rights violations were documented in occupied Crimea by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, 5,613 of which were against members of the Crimean Tatar community.
The occupying forces have suppressed Crimean Tatar public gatherings and commemorations, and have effectively banned the public use of their flag and other national symbols. Mosques have been targeted for surveillance. There were 15 Crimean Tatar schools on the peninsula before the occupation. As of this year, there are only 7, and the Crimean Tatar language is no longer the language of instruction in any of them. This is part of a clear concerted effort of the occupation authorities to completely destroy the Crimean Tatar language.
Every single Crimean Tatar broadcast station, and every newspaper but one, was forced to cease operations in 2015. Thousands have fled Crimea, or have been deported or denied re–entry. Meanwhile, 300,000 fresh settler colonists have arrived from Russia, with the encouragement and sponsorship of the Putin regime.
Moscow, it turns out, is still very much Moscow. Same as it was in 1783, same as it was in 1944. But Crimea is still Crimea. And Ukraine’s ongoing national liberation struggle is also the national liberation struggle of the Crimean Tatar people. And if we, as anarchists, still hold ourselves committed to anti-colonialist principles, then at least we oughta know which side we’re on.
Yevgeny Lerner is a writer, artist and activist. Born in Kyiv, he is now based in Brooklyn, NY.
From our Daily Report:
Crackdown on civil society widens in Crimea
CounterVortex, Sept. 20, 2022
Russia imprisons still more Crimean Tatars
CounterVortex, May 20, 2022
Crimean Tatars take up arms for Ukraine
CounterVortex, March 11, 2022
Putin rejects Ukraine law on indigenous rights
CounterVortex, Aug. 25, 2021
THE CRIMEAN CLAUSE OF THE UKRAINE QUESTION
by Yevgeny Lerner
CounterVortex, March 2022
LEGACY OF THE DEPORTATION
Crimean Tatars Again Being Erased from History in Their Homeland
by Olena Makarenko, Euromaidan Press
CounterVortex, May 2022
UKRAINE: DEBUNKING RUSSIA’S WAR PROPAGANDA
by Bill Weinberg
CounterVortex, September 2022
Special to CounterVortex, Aug. 15, 2023
Reprinting permissible with attribution