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(en) Britta Grondahl, swedish syndicalist militant dies at age of 88

From Mikael Altemark <altemark@home.se>
Date Sun, 1 Dec 2002 11:50:57 -0500 (EST)


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One of the most prominent activists of the libertarian movement in 
Sweden has now left us. Britta Gröndahl became 88 years, years she 
had filled with compassion and sincere revolutionary activism. She 
played a special role as translator of foreign material and also 
as a link between SAC and the Spanish libertarian movement during 
the 60's.

In the beginning of the 50's Britta found the syndicalist newspaper 
Arbetaren, which put forth thoughts and views she felt resonated 
with her own. Her first meeting was with the Stockholm local of 
the Syndicalist Women's Club at the People's House. She became 
active in a libertarian publishing venture and wrote a study of 
Proudhon, establishing a reputation as a serious historian and 
journalist with books about amongst other things the IWW and Simone 
Weil. Workers who chose to organize themselves into the LS (local 
organizations) of the syndicalist movement had the basis of the 
libertarian thoughts explained in her book "Party or union?", which 
was and is liberating in it's condemning of centralism and Party 
authority. 

At the beginning of the 60's Britta worked as teacher in French, 
was editor of the women's pages in Arbetaren and took part in 
the pioneering work of organizing the service sector. She also 
became engaged in SAC:s contacts with the underground 
libertarian movement in Spain, and in 1962 she travelled there 
for the first time, but was not the last one. In 1965 she 
travelled to Paris to study growing dissent of the workers movement
and the libertarian "anarchomarxism" of the student 
movement. Later the same year she was elected to be the first 
international secretary of SAC. Her home became a haven for 
political refugees from Spain and Italy. 

She and a group of other SAC-members also travelled to Portugal 
in the turbulent and liberating days of 1975. During this time 
she mainly made a living as a translator, and thanks to her 
many Swedes could read amongst others Foucault's giant work 
"the history of sexuality". As long as she had the strength 
she continued sharing her knowledge through lectures and 
women's meetings and during her last years the work of the SAC 
archival committee. 

She continued watching the developments of international 
syndicalism in Arbetaren. At the SAC congress in 1994 she 
participated as a guest of honour, together with her very 
good friend, the Portuguese syndicalist Ligia de Oliveira. 
When she was to weak to walk the whole way with the 1st 
may demonstrations in Stockholm she instead just went to 
the end square and met up with the march there. 

Those who knew her know that we have really lost a human 
with a strong intellect and empathy that did lot for us 
who are of the view that a person is worth more than power 
and capital.


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