Publisher: Round Robin Editrice
(Cara Mafia, Io Ti Sfido)
Book Series: Libeccio (South westerly wind)
Genre: Graphic Novel
“I’m not crazy, I don’t like to pay. I don’t want to share my choices with the Mafiosi.” On April 11, 1991, on live television, Libero Grassi, a textile manufacturer and the owner of Sigma, an underwear industry based in Palermo, told his story of a small businessperson who refused to pay the pizzo, or protection money, to Sicilian Mafia. His case crossed the borders of Sicily and became a national case. On August 29, at 7.30 am, he died in an ambush set up by Salvo Madonia, son of the boss of San Lorenzo, the mafia-controlled neighborhood in Palermo. He killed him because Libero Grassi was a “bad example” for other retailers. They might have arisen too. That morning, twenty years ago, Libero Grassi was murdered twice: by the Mafia and by the indifference of his fellow businessmen. They had left him alone and barely tolerated him. Then was 1992, with the Capaci and via d’Amelio massacres. People burnt with indignation. Then, for a while, the situation seemed to calm down but soon more and more retailers gradually started to break cover, to join forces, and, by following Grassi’s example, they begun to denounce their persecutors. As a result, Addiopizzo Movement was created and, after that, followed the anti-racket association Libero Futuro. There were trails and sentences. There is still a long way to go, but now it’s impossible to go back. The seeds of rebellion that Libero Grassi sowed finally sprouted, proving what he said: “An entire people that pays the pizzo is a people without dignity” a people that recovers its dignity , is stronger than any mafia.