Talking about a revolution
Today Sonia and I took time to get to the Addiopizzo event in Piazza Magione. We arrived waaay too early at 7pm, just to grab some photos if possible and see what’s what. We wandered around a bit, checked out some t-shirts, some of the exhibitors and what not. There was a shedload of carabinieri, dripping medals and cutting people with the knife-sharp creases on their jet-black uniforms (here’s a killer, these guys are ALWAYS in dress-uniform!) talking with the young Addiopizzo people, no doubt sharing war-stories of the Fight Against the Mafia.
I should explain perhaps that Addiopizzo is an organisation dedicated to fighting the extortion rackets, the payments for which are called the “pizzo”. The idea is they help people to expose extortion attempts, provide support (for like, when your factory get’s burned down overnight…) and encourage people to shop in places which refuse to pony up.
Anyway there’s a fair few stalls and a band-stage being set-up, so we’ll be back later tonight to get a bit of culture and music and show our support.
The one notable thing that did occur demonstrated to me the problems that organisations like Addiopizzo face in changing the culture here – 20 minutes after we got there, a fire-engine pulled up with sirens and lights and great urgency. We noted at the far end of the piazza a bunch of people gathered near a car, including a lot of Addiopizzo t-shirt wearing activists. After a few minutes Sonia and I went along to have a looksee and find out what was going on – something to do with a car it appeared, which had been broken into or had parts of the engine nicked, or maybe someone tried to burn it – I was overcome with curiosity and I have to admit I prodded Sonia into asking on the Addiopizzo people, who was looking very pissed off, about what had happened.
Sonia was really pissed with me – “I knew he’d say that, Sean! It’s useless asking anyone anything here – omerta!”
Even in Addiopizzo, the Sicilian mentality gets in the way.