Some good news – Sicilians are standing up to the Mob, and it’s working!
Not long ago, a prosecutor in Palermo heard something strange on a wiretap. A mobster was telling a henchman not to punish a store for failing to pay its pizzo, or protection money.
Palermo, the largest city in Sicily, is at the heart of mafia country. In the past, trade association surveys have shown that about 80 percent of the town’s shops were paying pizzo. But now more than 900 Sicilian firms, a majority of them in Palermo, are publicly refusing to give money to the mob, thanks to one of the most remarkable social movements to emerge in the last decade. Addiopizzo—Italian for “Goodbye, protection money”—is resisting the racketeers with tactics you’re more likely to associate with Gandhi or the Arab Spring than a campaign against organized crime. The store…
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