The apparent success of political consumerism in spurring social change seems to have encouraged activists in other social movement sectors to emulate groups and organizations that have used the market as a political arena. In this chapter we examine how political consumerism has been incorporated among the tactics of the anti-mafia movement by looking at a newly formed organization: Addiopizzo (‘Farewell, Pizzo “Extortion money”) - a committee formed in 2004 by a group of students in Palermo, Sicily. As estimated, eighty percent of businesses currently give into mafia intimidation and pay a monthly tax, or ’pizzo’, which totalled somewhere in the order of $33.5 billion dollars in the 2004 financial year. Addiopizzo has promoted a new ethical role of civil society to contrast the logic of the pizzo, calling on citizens to take politics into their own hands and favouring, by bridging, an open and direct alliance between citizens/consumers and shopkeepers. At present, almost 300 shops have joined Addiopizzo to offer mob-free shopping - thus refusing to hand over the ‘monthly tax’ to Cosa Nostra (a Sicilian mob) - and over 9,000 consumers have signed up, declaring themselves willing to make ‘critical use’ of their purchasing power by shopping only at ‘pizzo free’ shops. While tracing the origins, evolution, organizational structure and the system of alliances of Addiopizzo, in this article the use of the market as an arena in which to deal with organised crime will be compared with previous methods adopted by anti-mafia organizations in the past.

Everyday Shopping to Fight the Mafia in Italy / Forno, Francesca; Gunnarson, Carina. - (2010), pp. 103-126.

Everyday Shopping to Fight the Mafia in Italy

Forno, Francesca;
2010

Abstract

The apparent success of political consumerism in spurring social change seems to have encouraged activists in other social movement sectors to emulate groups and organizations that have used the market as a political arena. In this chapter we examine how political consumerism has been incorporated among the tactics of the anti-mafia movement by looking at a newly formed organization: Addiopizzo (‘Farewell, Pizzo “Extortion money”) - a committee formed in 2004 by a group of students in Palermo, Sicily. As estimated, eighty percent of businesses currently give into mafia intimidation and pay a monthly tax, or ’pizzo’, which totalled somewhere in the order of $33.5 billion dollars in the 2004 financial year. Addiopizzo has promoted a new ethical role of civil society to contrast the logic of the pizzo, calling on citizens to take politics into their own hands and favouring, by bridging, an open and direct alliance between citizens/consumers and shopkeepers. At present, almost 300 shops have joined Addiopizzo to offer mob-free shopping - thus refusing to hand over the ‘monthly tax’ to Cosa Nostra (a Sicilian mob) - and over 9,000 consumers have signed up, declaring themselves willing to make ‘critical use’ of their purchasing power by shopping only at ‘pizzo free’ shops. While tracing the origins, evolution, organizational structure and the system of alliances of Addiopizzo, in this article the use of the market as an arena in which to deal with organised crime will be compared with previous methods adopted by anti-mafia organizations in the past.
Creative Participation: Responsibility-taking in the Political World
Boulder London
Paradigm Publishr
978-1594517198
Forno, Francesca; Gunnarson, Carina
Everyday Shopping to Fight the Mafia in Italy / Forno, Francesca; Gunnarson, Carina. - (2010), pp. 103-126.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/165372
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