Linda Grasso

Founder of Civilian Bodyguards

The threats against Judge Di Matteo have inspired young people in Palermo to take to the streets united against the mafia.

Linda Grasso founded Civilian Bodyguards, a movement to protect Di Matteo, the day after Toto Riina’s threat against Di Matteo became public. She organised a protest march with 4,000 people in solidarity with the judge.

She says: "Our kids go on to the streets for Di Matteo because they want to protect him. For them he is a symbol of honesty. Most importantly, he might uncover the truth about the deal between the state and the mafia."

"We want to protect our judges while they’re alive, not commemorate them after their deaths." Grasso says many citizens are angry about the silence from political leaders over Di Matteo’s plight.

"I want to know the reason for this silence. What are they frightened of? Why are they silent? We can’t allow this man, a hero to us, to suffer this silence and indifference from the institutions... The state and the mafia have to understand that the judges are not alone like Borsellino and Falcone were."

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