Image: Anti-mafia march in Italy
Salvatore Laporta  /  AP
A view of an anti-Mafia rally staged by widows, children and grandchildren of many of those slain by Italy's various mafias, in Naples on Saturday. Judges, prosecutors and police officers are among those slain over the decades by Italy's three big crime syndicates based in the south.
updated 3/21/2009 9:10:20 PM ET 2009-03-22T01:10:20

Widows, children and grandchildren of many of those slain by Italy's various mafias were rallying in Naples to protest organized crime.

The annual march on the first day of spring drew thousands of participants Saturday along Naples' waterfront.

An Italian priest who runs a group called "Libera" (Free) organizes the march and helps citizens fight organized crime.

Judges, prosecutors and police officers are among those slain over the decades by Cosa Nostra, the Camorra and the 'ndrangheta, Italy's three big crime syndicates based in the south.

Priests, union leaders and journalists who have denounced the mob, as well businessmen who refused extortion demands, have also been murdered.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano sent a message paying tribute to the victims.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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