FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2023
Activists to BlackRock: Funding the F-35 Is a War Crime
NEW YORK CITY – CODEPINK's Brooklyn-based War Is Not Green campaign coordinator, Teddy Ogborn, helped to organize an action this morning at BlackRock's headquarters in Manhattan. The world's largest asset manager, responsible for 8.5 trillion dollars in assets, BlackRock is a primary funder of the climate crisis and war crimes. It is the number two shareholder of Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the F-35 jet, meaning that BlackRock majorly facilitates and exacerbates war profiteering.
CODEPINK joined with the Mindful Rebels, a group within Extinction Rebellion NYC that has protested via public meditation at BlackRock every Tuesday morning for almost a year. This morning, after their weekly meditation, they joined CODEPINK and Brooklyn For Peace in front of BlackRock's new Hudson Yards headquarters.
A Mindful Rebel who arrived at 8AM sharp for the group’s weekly meditation noted that security were swiftly putting up French barricades around the entrance to the building, and were checking IDs of employees to ensure no activists could walk in. “We heard you’ll be joined by some friends today,” quipped a security guard. Indeed, Mindful Rebels quickly doubled to its usual size as partners arrived, held up signs and chanted “No War, No Warming,” “BlackRock out of Lockheed!” and “Ground the F-35!”
Speaking at the rally, Teddy highlighted BlackRock’s role in the climate and militarism crisis. “This company wields massive financial power over world affairs. We know they have the ability to save lives the world over by divesting from the war machine and the fossil fuel industry. So we are going to stand up to them until they do. They can start by divesting from Lockheed and helping to ground the super-emitting, super-wasteful, and nuclear-capable F-35 fighter jet.”
This action comes two weeks after Larry Fink published his annual letter to investors. In that letter, Fink claimed, “It’s a huge source of pride for everyone at BlackRock that we play a role in helping millions of people around the world experience financial well-being.” Protesters called out the morbid irony in Fink's statement, demanding that the company take accountability for its role in fueling and funding civilian massacres in Yemen and divest immediately from Lockheed Martin. Read CODEPINK’s response to Fink’s letter here.
Teddy also highlighted CODEPINK’s ongoing campaign as shareholder activists at BlackRock – this year at the Annual Group Meeting, CODEPINK will bring forth a resolution which would initiate a report on weapon manufacturers’ climate impact. BlackRock has already signaled it will oppose the resolution.
NYC’s action is just one of many during the Ground the F-35 week of actions. It comes just a day after activists blocked Truax Air Force Base in Madison, WI.
For information about our F-35 campaign, contact Danaka Katovich at [email protected]
For information about our War Is Not Green campaign or our BlackRock resolution, contact Teddy Ogborn at [email protected].