FAQ

Does Addiopizzo suggest to boycott the shopkeepers who pay the pizzo?

No. “Against the pizzo, change consumptions”is a campaign of solidarity and support in favor of those who have made a brave choice against the mafia, not one of boycott against those who endure it. We know very well that many shopkeepers do not rebel against their extorters for fear and mistrust of the State, who’s supposed to protect them. Nonetheless, we feel the need to show our support to those who, albeit living in the same environment, are doing something more than their colleagues.

However, to boycott the shops who submit to paying the pizzo would be practically impossible, other than morally unjust, since in Palermo the pizzo is still paid by a very high percentage of shopkeepers. After many years from the beginning of our campaign, when we have insistently repeated “We do not propose any kind of boycott”, those who keep to insinuate it do it not because of misinformation, but out of bad faith.

 

Do you adhere to any movement and/or political party?

No. Even if we have a strong political characterization, as any other movement which aims to act on civil society, Addiopizzo is explicitly and “jealously”nonpartisan.

We believe the fight against the mafia should not have any political color nor flag. Furthermore, we want to feel free, anytime, to point our finger against any party (regardless of whether it is a leftist, right or centrist), which candidates in its lists characters of ambiguous morality, when not yet penally condemned.

 

What means do you propose against the racket?

We work on two fronts. On the one hand, we want to collect the shopkeepers who do not pay the pizzo, who have denounced their extorters or who have decided not to pay it anymore, and on the other hand we seek to incentivize as many citizens as possible to adhere to our “Manifesto for the legality and development”with which they undertake to prefer those activities who do not pay the pizzo. Our aim is to create a healthy economic network, based on the practice of the “critical consumption Addiopizzo”, where the daily encounter between citizens/customers and shopkeepers may incentivize both new shopkeepers and new citizens to adhere to our campaign.

 

 

How was Addiopizzo created?

The idea of Addiopizzo started from 7 of us who, in 2004, wanted to open a bar in Palermo. Considering that they would have surely received requests of money from the mafia, this awareness made them think that in an indifferent and apathetic environment one cannot expect that few shopkeepers have the courage to denounce.

Then they changed their strategy, putting, during the night of the 29th of June 2004, some stickers which said “a whole people that pays the pizzo is a people without dignity”.

 

 

How can I put in practice the critical consumption of Addiopizzo if I don’t live in Palermo or province where all the shopkeepers who have adhered to the campaign are?

Addiopizzo is a movement that is strongly tied to the territory where it was born and developed. The campaign “Against the pizzo, change consumptions”is focused in the city of Palermo and in the towns nearby, because it is there where its adherents can really make their support and the weight of their shopping choices heard. The commitment requested to the signers is not just symbolic, but it is active, concrete, daily, and consequently, local.

This does not exclude that the Addiopizzo campaign cannot be applied anywhere else: a similar initiative was taken in Naples, but also in Catania and Messina where other autonomous Addiopizzo groups have formed.  (for further information: www.addiopizzocatania.organd http://addiopizzomessina.wordpress.com/ )

 

What is the pizzo?

The pizzo is an extortion practiced by Cosa Nostra against the shopkeepers, who surrender to the requests by the mafiosi to guarantee the “protection”of their business. Broadly speaking, it is also a form of control of the territory, since to impose a tax means to expect the recognition of one’s own power.

On a regular basis, the pizzo collector goes to the shopkeeper to cash a certain amount of money, which will serve to pay the other members of the organization, to sustain the families of the convicts, to pay for the trial expenses of the bosses, and for any other illicit investment. The payment in cash is not the only form of pizzo. It can either be substituted or accompanied by the imposition of personnel or suppliers who are close to the “cosca”.

 

I have a website/blog, can I partner with you?

Of course. You only need to contact our webmaster for exchanging our links or even request our banners, writing to comitato@addiopizzo.org

 

When can I meet you at the head office of Addiopizzo?

Our secretary is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 14:00, except on Tuesday, when it is open from 14:00 to 19:00.

 

Do you send a newsletter? How can I subscribe?

Addiopizzo sends regular e-mails to the subscribers of the Manifesto for the Critical Consumption, informing them of its current activities: demonstrations against the pizzo, events in pizzo-free shops, petitions for shopkeepers in need.

To receive it, it is necessary to subscribe the campaign for the critical consumption Addiopizzo using the following form: www.addiopizzo.org/?page_id=56

 

 

Apart from the campaign Against the pizzo change consumptions, what other activities do you do?

Ever since the beginning we have carried out a pounding campaign for raising awareness in the public opinion, using the most various means of communication, from stickers to websites.

We take part in projects aimed at education to legality and antimafia in the schools of Palermo and province, and we also take part in events, conferences and demonstrations in Italy and abroad.

We also provide free legal support to the shopkeepers who denounce the pizzo. For whoever is interested to contact for this kind of activities, you can contact us to our e-mail address: comitato@addiopizzo.org.

 

 

Why did you choose the fight against the pizzo specifically?

The pizzo is the main means thanks to which the mafia exercises its daily control over the territory.

We deem right that the citizens are aware of the great importance that our purchases have, because buying groceries from someone who pays the pizzo means to indirectly finance organized crime.

The fight against the pizzo lies at the level of the citizen-consumer: in our small part, it can be carried out by any of us.

 

What are your forms of financing?

The actions of Addiopizzo are sustained by free donations or with the destination of the 5×1000 of IRPEF  to its activities.

The “school projects”have been financed by the Department of Public Education. From 2012 some activities have been financed with the project “Critical Consumption Antiracket”, referred to the ASSE II of Security PON and related to the operative aim “to contrast the racket of extortions and moneylending”by the office of the National Antiracket Commissary in partnership with Addiopizzo, the Municipality of Palermo and the Municipality of Gela. Addiopizzo then received some contributions from the Regional Department for the Family, Social Politics and Labour, under art.17 of the Regional Law 20 of 1999.

 

What if someone wanted to cooperate with you but does not live in Sicily?

Anyone can help out by spreading the word about our initiatives even outside Palermo and Sicily, because no part of Italy is free from the problems of mafia and racket.

Our initiative is characterized by its “reproducibility”, namely anyone who shares our initiative can easily download our stickers for free, print them and stick them in their own city. Alternatively, if someone decides to travel to Palermo, they can contact us, we will provide them with the list of our pizzo-free shopkeepers who have decided not to pay the mafia: so they will be able to go to hotels, restaurants, pubs, libraries that do not finance the mafia.

Write to us to the e-mail comitato@addiopizzo.org to propose ideas for similar activities in other regions.

I am a shopkeeper/ entrepreneur/ business owner, how can I have further information to be part of your list?

In this section of our website, you can find all the information you need. Contact us: subsequently, we will set an interview when to evaluate your request.

Our list is not closed, so anyone who wants to join it are welcome, on the condition that they do not pay the pizzo.

 

I am a journalist, how can I contact you?

Send us an e-mail to the address: comitato@addiopizzo.org

For further information, visit the page “Contacts”.

 

I am a simple citizen and I would like to join Addiopizzo, or just give you a hand every now and then. What can I do?

Send us an email to the address: comitato@addiopizzo.org. You will be contacted shortly to have further information.

 

I would like to adhere to the campaign of Anti-pizzo Critical Consumption and commit myself to sustain the pizzo-free shopkeepers, what do I have to do?

You can subscribe the Manifesto of the Citizen/Consumer for Legality and Development online and check out the list of our businesses who are part of our network “I pay who does not pay”to support them with your purchases.