On Friday, April 29, South Florida activists held a demonstration outside of BlackRock’s Palm Beach offices at 251 Royal Palm Way. Employees of adjoining buildings crowded the corporate courtyard to gawk at the rambunctious swarm of animal allies as they let BlackRock know why they had returned: “BlackRock, we are outside of your offices today because you continue to profit off the confinement, torture, and death of animals in laboratories,” one of the protesters shouted into a megaphone. “Until you cut your contract with Skanska USA, activists will be at your offices, at your homes!”
Police in short shorts and ’90s shades arrived swiftly, popped the kickstands of their bicycles, and began to try and shut the party down. Noise ordinance violations were distributed to protesters, totaling $250.00 in fines owed to the city. The megaphone and trombone were asked to leave. Neither the fines nor the lack of noise amplification stopped the protesters from getting their message across. Throughout BlackRock’s entryway rang the cries of the eco-anarchists and animal lovers: “What do we want?! ANIMAL LIBERATION! When do we want it?! NOW!!.”
BlackRock owns $125 million of shares in Skanska USA, the company currently building an underground animal testing facility at the University of Washington. If completed, the lab would expand the university’s primate research, adding to the thousands of animals already tortured in needless experiments at UW.