The 31st Anniversary of the Assassination of Libero Grassi, the brave businessman who had refused to pay pizzo

Addiopizzo and the family of Libero Grassi, a Sicilian business who was killed by Cosa Nostra thirty-one years ago after he publicly denounced the extortionists and refused to pay pizzo, recently organized a conference to discuss the state of civil society in Palermo and the attempts by Cosa Nostra to re-establish convivenza and boost its extortion racket.

Libero Grassi, murdered by Cosa Nostra after refusing to pay pizzo
Libero Grassi, murdered by Cosa Nostra after refusing to pay pizzo

“Cosa Nostra is fragile and today denouncing extortion has become a normal act and no longer one that requires great courage, as it indeed should be in a civilized country. Today it is not those who are asked for pizzo who are afraid, but rather Cosa Nostra who fears those traders and entrepreneurs who loudly denounce them, who are acting as the eyes and ears of the police.”

Prosecutor Marzia Sabella

The prefect Giuseppe Forlani explained that, although there are changes, “the classic extortion method still exists and is linked to the control of the territory”. Today “we need a fight against racketeering with a militancy of presence, through concrete support on the territory by citizens and associations, even with practices such as critical consumption”.

In short, it is the city that must leave a mark, mobilize, beyond the specific aid from the State. The prefect also referred to a bakery with a laboratory confiscated from Zen that should have been assigned to an entrepreneur for management, “but at the last moment he pulled back, that’s why we need a mobilization from below to help those who want to operate legally”, he concluded.

The extraordinary commissioner Nicolò, after launching an appeal to young people, emphasizing the need to sensitize young people to the knowledge of the phenomenon of extortion, provided data on the help given by the State to the victims of racketeering and usury in the last year on the island and in Palermo. Over 6 million euro was distributed in aid of victims of racketeering and extortion.


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