Last week, a group of activists had a surprise protest at BlackRock's Chicago office, located at 227 W Monroe Street. They first attempted to go up to the office on the 29th floor of the skyscraper to deliver a letter, but security guards and gates prevented them from doing so without a key card. They then spoke to the lobby receptionists about being allowed entry into the elevators to deliver a letter, and the receptionists connected them to the BlackRock office over a building phone to ask for permission to come up to the office. One of the activists spoke to the BlackRock office and told them that they wanted to come up to the office to deliver a letter. As soon as the activist said that the letter was from the No New Animal Lab campaign to let BlackRock know that their financial investment in Skanska has intertwined them with support of animal torture, the BlackRock representative said no and hung up the phone.
Not deterred from making sure that BlackRock knew the demands of activists -- for them to use their power as a major Skanska shareholder to convince Skanska to drop the lab contract, or to divest -- the group held a loud protest right outside the doors of the building. Their chants of "BlackRock has blood on its hands!" and "Cut your ties with animal tests!" echoed into the building and down the street. People in offices across the street came to their windows to watch, and people at a crowded event on the ground floor of BlackRock's building looked out the glass doors. Several members of building security stood outside and around the doors to monitor the protest, and someone who seemed to be from the BlackRock office came down to talk with security.
Even on a busy Chicago street, everyone took notice of the protest, many people expressed support, and BlackRock's name is once again becoming synonymous with funding animal torture. The protest ended with a call out to BlackRock, telling them, "You support innocent animals dying and being tortured!" and the activists left chanting, "We will never back down, until you stop the killing!"