French protesters invaded Blackrock headquarters in Paris on Thursday, as anti-pension reform protests reach week 11.
Thursday’s protest was expected to be a big one. Footage on highways of furniture on fire had brought cars to a standstill.
In Paris, protesters brought flares and flags into BlackRock headquarters, singing anti-Macron songs as the building was engulfed in smoke.
French protesters have been opposed to Macron’s executive order that mandates the country’s retirement age rise by two years from 62 to 64.
BlackRock, a financial behemoth overseeing more than $9 trillion in assets, has become a symbol of global financial power and influence. While not directly involved in Macron’s pension reform, the firm’s significant sway over financial policy and aggressive investments in residential housing across the globe have made it a prime target for demonstrators seeking to express their discontent with the current system.
In recent years, BlackRock has aggressively pursued residential real estate acquisitions on a global scale, buying up considerable amounts of housing properties in various countries. This trend has sparked concerns among critics who argue that the influx of institutional investors like BlackRock contributes to surging housing prices in the housing market.
Since mid-January, millions of French protesters, including teachers, garbage collectors, and oil refinery workers, have demonstrated in more than two hundred cities in the country.
The police have cracked down hard on protesters, and last month, a Human Rights Watch group denounced Macron for several videos that show police using indiscriminate, excessive force against seemingly peaceful protesters.
On Wednesday, negotiations between French unions and France PM Elizabeth Borne were unsuccessful.
“There is no other solution than withdrawing the reform,” CGT union leader Sophie Binet said.
Laurent Berger, leader of the country’s biggest union CFDT asked citizens for “a maximum of workers, men and women, to join the marches across France tomorrow.”
Last week, a French woman was arrested and will face trial for a Facebook post she made where she called President Emmanuel Macron “filth.”