Sean\’s Sicily

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Posts Tagged ‘Cosa Nostra

Mafia on the Mind

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Now the other day I wrote that a friend was involved in an accident and that night had the car burnt out. For me it’s fairly clear – the guy involved is pissed she’s taking action against him, and burnt out her car as a lesson.
Except nothing is ever that simple here in Sicily. The girl lives in a town near Palermo that is heavily controlled by Cosa nostra, and that changes everything.

Take for example Cinisi, the place where Peppino Impastato was born, fought, and killed. He was born into the mafia (father, uncles, all mafiosi for the most part), he fought the mafia all his life (calling the mafia a “mountain of shit” was the least of it), and was killed by the mafia (they beat him to a pulp in a cowshed, stuffed some dynamite in his pockets, took him to a local railway line, and blew him up).

Recently the boss of Cinisi turned, and has showed that the grip on Cinisi is still rock-solid. So that raises a burning question, pardon the pun. Given that her town is under the shadow of Cosa nostra – did her car get burnt with or without the permission of the local men-of-honour?

If not, then that guy is really really stupid, because the mafia really don’t like things to happen in their areas that might bring the attention of the police and provide an excuse for outsiders to stick their noses in.
If he did have permission – then my friend is in a lot more trouble than we thought.

Me personally, I don’t think the local mafia give a flying fck about the whole thing, but then I’m not Sicilian and I don’t understand. Even after a year, I still don’t see the hidden things, and I’ve given up trying, ‘cos I keep twisting myself into knots over what somebody said, what they didn’t say, what might what they said mean, what might what they didn’t say mean, and why didn’t they say it, Why did they say what they said?

To quote Gen McAuliffe in Bastogne – aw nuts!! I’ll just take everything at face value, and more the fool those who think less of me because I’m honest!

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Written by seancasaidhe

May 18, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Talking about a revolution

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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.

Addiopizzo PosterI 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.

“Niente!” Nothing.

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.

Written by seancasaidhe

May 16, 2008 at 9:01 pm