GAG Campaign Telling BlackRock to #DropTheGunStocks Begins With Mass Communication | Event Recap
August 10, 2016
At its bi-weekly open meeting last night at the LGBTQ Center in New York City, Gays Against Guns enlisted those in attendance to kick of its campaign to get BlackRock, the massive investment management firm headquartered in New York City, to divest in its portfolio of gun stock (#DropTheGunStocks).
As reported by Bloomberg in their article “BlackRock Targeted by Gay Activists for Investing in Firearms” by Jeff Green “The Gays Against Guns protest will start with e-mailed demands from members and allies and escalate to more direct confrontation if BlackRock doesn’t agree to divest…The group wants the company to adjust its index funds to exclude gun stocks. Index funds mimic the composition of an index, rather than actively picking investments.
The group also said it plans to target other companies, which it said it wouldn’t identify to avoid giving those firms time to prepare.”
The full text of the email demand is included below:
Laurence Fink email@example.com
Robert Kapito firstname.lastname@example.org
Rich Kushel email@example.com
Body of the Email: Dear Messrs. Fink, Kapito and Kushel:
My name is _______ and I am a member of Gays Against Guns ______ (your city or state). I know from published reports and proxy filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that BlackRock owns 1.8 million shares issued by Sturm, Ruger and Company, or 9.9 percent of the common stock, and 3.5 million shares issued by Smith & Wesson, or 6.4 percent of the common stock.
You have been asked to sell these holdings in the past, notably after the 2012 killings of 26 people, including 20 children, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is well past time that BlackRock sold these shares and any private equity stake BlackRock may have in any gun manufacturer.
The money BlackRock has invested in Ruger and Smith & Wesson goes toward the design, manufacturing, and marketing of some of the deadliest weapons sold in the world. The real cost of these weapons is counted in human lives. You are facilitating slaughter with the June 12 killings of 49 LGBT people in an Orlando, Florida nightclub being only the most recent.
Please sell this stock and any private equity stake you have in any gun manufacturer immediately and make a public announcement when you do so.
I know from your most recent prospectus for BlackRock's iShares US Aerospace and Defense ETF, which owns the Smith & Wesson and Ruger stocks, that you bought and sold stock held by this ETF so I know you can do this. Do not claim that you cannot. BlackRock designed this product, BlackRock owns it, and BlackRock buys and sells assets held in this ETF.
Once you've blasted, please consider tweeting and/or FB-posting this...and urging your networks to tweet:
#GaysAgainstGuns just email-flooded execs @BlackRock demanding#DropYourGunStock in @smithwesson & Sturm, Ruger. No more #LGBTsupport while you profit from death weapons. #GAGiswatching