Robinhood protesters dumped dog droppings and vandalized police headquarters
A handful of protesters outraged by the Robinhood trading app have shown up in recent weeks at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., To express their frustrations at the company’s decision to limit trading in certain stocks.
Some of these protesters, however, used more than their words.
Robinhood security staff said on calls to the Menlo Park Police Department that one protester threw dog droppings at the building, another threw his t-shirt at a guard and another sawed off a statue on the property, an MPPD spokesperson told Insider.
The excrement thrower fled before he could be identified, while the t-shirt thrower was cited for assault and released – both incidents occurred on January 28, the spokesperson said, adding that later that night Robinhood security personnel called the police again to report two intruders. , who left after warnings from MPPD agents.
Robinhood declined to comment.
These incidents, reported earlier by CNBC and confirmed by Insider, was followed by a protest of about 15 people on Jan. 29 that resulted in no response from the police, according to MPPD.
On January 31, another protester vandalized a statue, apparently using a power saw, and on February 2, a 20 or 30-year-old man showed up and shouted at security personnel but left before the agents arrived, the MPPD spokesperson said.
Protesters also wrote “VLAD SUCKS” – referring to Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev – in chalk on the sidewalk outside Robinhood’s offices, according to images captured by Getty photographer Justin Sullivan on February 1.
Robinhood and other trading applications sparked anger among clients last month after blocking them from trading GameStop, AMC Entertainment, Nokia and other stocks amid a short-lived squeeze fueled by Reddit day traders – many of whom use Robinhood to make these trades.
Clients complained that trading apps had excluded them from huge potential gains by preventing them from buying stocks or options as the value of stocks rose – while hedge funds and other large investors were free to continue to invest. to negotiate. They also argued that Robinhood’s business model, which relies heavily on a controversial practice known as “payment for order flow”, presents a conflict of interest that may have led Robinhood to restrict trading. to protect large companies that pay it to execute user transactions. .
Read more: Robinhood earns hundreds of millions selling customer orders. This business model is about to be developed.
Robinhood and Tenev have defended the restrictions, saying it was necessary to reduce transaction volumes in order to meet regulatory requirements.
Yet these measures have provoked backlash in the form of class actions and congressional hearings. At the same time, federal regulators and prosecutors are investigating whether the military Reddit traders engage in market manipulation.
Read more: Robinhood has stepped up legal firepower with these 15 lawyers as lawsuits mount