Visit to BlackRock's Seattle Office

Last week, Seattle area activists attempted to deliver a letter to BlackRock's Seattle office to make sure executives there are aware that their corporation's investment in Skanska has intertwined them with the controversy surrounding the building of UW's underground animal lab. But delivering a letter was much more complicated than expected because this is not the first time that BlackRock has made a bad investment in animal torture.

BlackRock was a target of the SHAC campaign for its investment in Huntingdon Life Sciences, a notorious contract animal research lab that an international campaign of grassroots activists brought to its knees. During that campaign, BlackRock offices saw protests and disruptions, and BlackRock executives were protested at their homes by groups of people in black bloc. The Seattle office didn't escape this pressure, and had activists disrupt business as usual with chants and flyer-throwing. After it's experiences with the SHAC campaign, BlackRock's Seattle office went into constant lockdown -- elevators won't stop on their top floors of a Seattle skyscraper and stairwells lock people inside of them -- and years later, the office is still on lockdown. Now, the No New Animal Lab campaign has turned attention to BlackRock...but maybe if BlackRock stopped investing in corporations that profit from animal torture, they wouldn't have to be so worried about activists visiting them.

When people visited the office last week -- wearing suits and carrying a letter to deliver -- they ended up on one of BlackRock's floors because someone on the floor had pushed the button for the elevator. As they then looked for where they could deliver the letter, people asked them: "How did you get up here??" Building security guards showed up just minutes later and escorted the people the 55 floors down to the lobby and told them that they needed to set up a meeting if they wanted to deliver a letter.

If Skanska cares about their shareholders, they should consider that BlackRock seems worried about even getting a letter from activists... What are Skanska's investors going to think of the upcoming #StormSkanska: Fracture their Finances week of action?