The mafia will be defeated by an army of elementary school teachers.
Gesualdo Bufalino

In the days immediately following the Capaci and Via D’Amelio massacres, the citizens of Palermo reacted with spontaneous demonstrations of anger against mafia violence and the inefficiency of the State. The next years saw the rise of the “Committee of Sheets,” the organization of human chains, marches, and solidarity vigils for the magistrates in front of the Palace of Justice.

The activity of education to legality, always present in schools, received a significant boost starting in 1992. Thanks also to the initiatives of the association network “Palermo Year One,” this became an organic and structured effort, involving city schools in projects such as “Palermo Opens Its Doors, the School Adopts a Monument,” where hundreds of students of all ages assumed the role of guides for “forgotten” monuments, expressing the desire to reclaim the territory from mafia control.

When the Addiopizzo Committee was founded in 2004, schools of all grades in the city immediately sought contact with the movement’s volunteers to meet and dialogue with students. Since then, this activity has never ceased. Over the years, around 2000 meetings have been held with city schools, in addition to those with many educational institutions from other cities and abroad.



The Pizzo-Free Day organized in Piazza Magione in Palermo, the first Critical Consumption Fair ever held, on May 5, 2006, saw the participation of over 5000 students alongside business owners from the Addiopizzo network.

In 2008, the project “Palermo: Racket View” involved 86 schools from the province of Palermo in an unprecedented activity: students studied the extortion phenomenon and took the streets to interview local shop owners, administering 2000 surveys on their perception of pizzo. The results of approximately 900 interviews to entrepreneurs from different city neighborhoods were gathered into a publication and a video, presented in a packed theater with over 1500 students.

Addiopizzo successfully involved hundreds of students in anti-racket parades during the “Path of Denunciation” or Critical Consumption Fairs. The voices of the youth, their chants, echoed through the city’s frontier neighborhoods, from Noce to Brancaccio, from San Lorenzo to Vucciria.

Building on these successful experiences, by request of the Falcone Foundation, the “Addiopizzo youngsters” have animated for several years the parade that goes from Via D’Amelio to the Falcone Tree during the May 23 commemoration, an event attended by thousands of citizens and students from schools all over Italy.