The project

Many citizens are unaware that if they buy from people who pay protection money, they are funding the Mafia. “Consumo critico” project aims to support merchants who refuse to submit to the extortion racket, thereby creating a network of consumer aware citizens who commit themselves to going to these shops for their purchases. Our goal is to lend – with legal and psychological help – those who decide not to pay the protection money. Furthermore we support the shop owners who publically declare that they don’t pay the pizzo because we think that their decision is an important example for cultural change.


We have compiled a list of “smart customers” who prefer to buy from pizzo-free shops and support them in their decision. On September 30th 2008 we showed the press a list of 2500 people that support this project. Today they number 5000.


The second part of this project was to compile a second list of shopkeepers which is called “lista pizzo free”.

They publically declare that they don’t pay the protection money and they are supported by the "smart customers" who pledge to buy pizzo-free goods.

On January 30th 2010 we presented to Italian Institutions this “pizzo free” list with 50 merchants from the Catania area. Today this list has over 100 people.

The goal was to draw the public’s attention and raise awareness of the phenomenon of extortion. We wanted to create a network of people who are knowledgeable consumers aware of their role and power within society.


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