The wind from the South

rita borsellino.jpg

Rita Borsellino has sent me a statement about her candidacy for the position as President of the Sicily Region.

"Dear Beppe,

You asked me to tell you about the story of my candidacy and my electoral campaign to be President of the Region of Sicily. I am delighted that you are interested and grateful for the opportunity that you are offering me to explain what is happening now.
Already with the primaries, there has been an interest around my name and my candidacy that has not been seen in Sicily for a long time. This popular participation has seen the creation of 250 spontaneous campaign groups throughout the whole island. In the factories, in the universities, in the ship building yards, in the big towns and the tiny villages.
Even in the offices of the Region where the owner of the house is still governor Cuffaro (probably the first name on the list for the UDC at the Senate, once more a candidate for Casa delle Libertà as well as being a candidate for the President of the Region., even though he is under judicial investigation for particularly favouring Cosa Nostra).

Why did I decide to put myself forward as a candidate? Because the enthusiasm demonstrated by the people at the National Primaries in Sicily made me understand that there’s a desire for change in the air. And after many years of dedication to politics within the world of associations, perhaps it is the time to take an extra step forward.
Thus, given the difficulty that the centre-left were having in finding a unifying candidate for the President of the Region, I wanted to make them aware of my story. You see what happened after that has been ever growing enthusiasm. After a very long time, the Political parties and organised civil society have once more started to engage with each other and now they are sitting down at the same table to write the programme.
Even for the programme we have chosen a new approach: calling it “workshops”. And we’ve started up 15 different ones on different topics: from health and welfare to the politics of work, to migrants.

A bit like you do collecting together comments on specific topics on your Blog. Trades Unions, experts, associations and campaign groups are taking part in the workshops.
It’s a journey of participatory programme development without precedent. It will continue right up to the elections, because the results of these 15 workshops will be then presented to the Comunes {town and village administrations} in workshops that we are calling “comune workshops”. In the meantime I’m continuing to do what I’ve always done since 1992: listen to people and engage with them.
During the Primaries I said that I would try to visit as many comunes of the island as I can as part of the electoral campaign. I intend to maintain this promise.

This time I’m convinced that change is possible. Real change.

Bye and thanks.”

Rita Borsellino

Luca Coscioni, President of the Italian Radicals, died a few days ago. He was a courageous man who always fought on behalf of others. Addio Luca.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:03 PM in | Comments (8)
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Hello everyone, my name is Nicholas Borsellino and I'm an american ancestor of Rita Borsellino. I have never spoken to her before and have had no ties with any of my relative that are living in Italy. I have been researching a bit and love what Rita is all about. If there is anything I could do to help please anyone can e-mail me and let me know. My e-mail is:
Thanks for your time-Nicholas Borsellino

Posted by: Nicholas Borsellino | January 16, 2007 11:39 PM

The subject introduced by Borsellino and the answers above, shows how the situation is. Some people wants to have changements and admire the "courage" of the candidate as if the mafia decided to kill her tomorrow. No doubts that Sicily will not change at all but there is always dreamers enough to believe in it. If Italy is the worst example of the european countries about politics and managment of the land, Sicily is the worst example of this Italy and any change, even very small, would be certainly better than nothing.
And this is just what ti will be.
Interests are too much important for a minority to let somebody to change any important thing in Sicily.

Posted by: sommarti Jaio | February 26, 2006 07:24 AM

Dear Rita,
It is refreshing to hear that the time for the change has come.
I have a little short story that highlights the need of a strong change.
My two friends from Sicily, Marcella and Luca, live abroad like me in a country with a complete different attitude than Italy. Rules have a meaning.
Last year while they were back to Sicily for their holiday they needed to go to the local hospital.
They were sitting in the doctor office at the hospital and the man was smoking. Luca asked him not to smoke and he reminded that in hospitals smoking is banished.
Not only did the doctor carried on smoking, but laughing he said so why donít you get the form and fill it inÖ. and he kept laughing.
I think this short story shows perfectly the level of illegality going around at all levels and everywhere, being sure that anyhow they will always steer clear.
Thatís pretty sad, isnít it?

Best wishes,


Posted by: Maena Gambaiani | February 25, 2006 09:27 AM

Ciao, Jesse.
I love your idea of an Americans for Rita Borsellino initiative. I am going to share it with some compagni and we definitely will be in touch.

Posted by: George De Stefano | February 24, 2006 06:21 PM

I'm an American living in Palermo for over 10 years and actively involved in Rita's campaign. We are very excited about Rita's letter being published in Beppe Grillo's blog (she will also be there at his show in Palermo on the 19th of March), but I didn't realise the site had a section in English.
It's great to see the interest of Sicilian-Americans like George De Stefano that share our desire for a free Sicily. George, do you think it would be possible to organise an "Americans for Rita" Committee? We could keep you in touch from over here and maybe invent some initiatives like fund-raising. Please George and anyone else interested, feel free to email in English if you wish; I'll answer you!
Forza Rita!

Posted by: Jesse Marsh | February 24, 2006 04:08 PM

I would love to see Ms. Borsellino as President of Sicilian region.

If it will really happen this would mean that the South of Italy is at this stage leading Italy towards an unbeliveble change.

I come from Puglia and I remeber well what happened when Niki Vendola won the primaries.....thousands of peolple working hard and free for an idea: a place to live of which to be PROUD.

I will help you Rita sending e-mails and sms and talking with as many people as I can in order to make a dream REALITY!

Come on RITA. You can succed!!

Kind regards

Posted by: Antonio Esposto | February 24, 2006 01:45 PM

Evviva La Borsellino.

As the grandson of Sicilian immigrants who often visits la madrepatria, I know too well how that toxic trinity of Mafia, rightist politics, and the Catholic Church has deformed Sicilian society. I am so glad to hear that a desire for change is growing in Sicily.

As an Italian American, I am disgusted with the so-called Italian American leadership, which aligns itself with George Bush and "il Cavaliere" but never supports people like Rita Borsellino. The Columbus Foundation, Sons of Italy, National Italian American Foundation -- they support Italian American reactionaries such as Alito and Scalia, authoritarians like Rudy Giuliani, and Italians like Berlusconi and Mirko Tremaglia. The Columbus Foundation even had the delightful duo of Scalia and Tremaglia as honored guests at last year's Columbus Day parade.

Some of us confront these prominenti and get some media exposure for our protests. Several italoamericani, including myself, were interviewed in the New York Times and several other papers about our protest against Scalia and Tremaglia. We were denounced by An (which made me quite happy) and covered favorably in the Ds newsletter and in Unita and La Repubblica. If La Borsellino wins and Berlusconi is defeated, we will make a public statement of support, hopefully pissing off our prominenti and the Right in Italy.

We also want to have dialogue with leftists and radicals in Italy. This blog is one place where that might happen. I would love to hear ideas from
voi italiani.

Posted by: George De Stefano | February 23, 2006 10:24 PM

Gentile Signora Borsellino,

Grazie per il coraggio e la determinazione di candidarsi alla presidenza della regione Sicilia. Possa il Signore benedirLa e proteggerLa in questa sua decisione.

Giacommo Ruffoni

Posted by: Giacomo Ruffoni | February 23, 2006 09:16 PM

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