“This company has a lot of influence in many sectors and we are trying to convey what we are asking for, we want to change this capitalistic system”, Emilia, a 15-year-old Fridays for Future group member, said.
Activists wrote tags on the walls such as “I want to live” or “Murderers” on the walls and blocked the entrance with ropes and rolling office cabinets before riot police arrived.
Pour la poignée de militants écologistes qui occupaient le siège de #BlackRock ce matin, la préfecture de police de Paris avait déployé la BI, "Brigade d'intervention", armée très lourdement. #greve10fevrier
They also threw away all the awards the company had earned over the years in powerful images.
BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink warned company boards in January to step up efforts to tackle climate change or face increased wrath from investors concerned about the impact of unsustainable business practices on their future wealth.
In his annual letter to CEOs, Fink said his firm would exit investments that presented a high sustainability-related risk, including thermal coal producers, as it participated in what he described as a “fundamental reshaping of finance.”
In comments to local media Reporterre, activists from Youth For Climate said that their initial target was the French bank Societe General, but when they arrived at the site policemen were already waiting for them, so they opted for BlackRock instead.
In a press communiqué released after the action by the Youth for Climate, they also mentioned that BlackRock was likely lobbying the government to pass the highly-contested pension reform that would eventually benefit the firm.