The Parkland students are continuing to advocate for gun control, one issue at a time, and their efforts are creating real change. The latest proof of that is Publix, a supermarket chain found based in the southeastern United States.
After boycotts and protests on Friday, the grocery store has publicly announced it will stop making political contributions, including those for Florida gubernatorial candidate and proudly vocal "NRA sellout" Adam Putnam. It's all thanks to Parkland'sDavid Hogg and his peers, who spearheaded a protest against the chain with a successful "die-in" at one of the store's locations.
"Anyone who supports an NRA sellout is an NRA sellout," Hogg tweeted on Tuesday in his call to arms to boycott Publix.
Anyone who supports an NRA sellout is an NRA sellout. That is why I am calling on everyone to stop shopping at Publix until they pull their endorsement of Putnam publicly. Publix is supporting the inaction after pulse, strozier, Douglas, liberty city. Don’t support an NRA sellout
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) May 23, 2018
Just a few days later on May 25, students — in partnership with an organization birthed out of the Parkland shooting, Change The Ref — led the protests in Coral Springs, Florida inside and outside the store, with chalk outlines in the parking lot to commemorate the lives lost during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Early this morning @davidhogg111 teamed up with @ChangeTheRef to create an art instillation outside of @publix in protest of the corporation and their support of Adam Putnam. 17 chalk outlines in multiple parking spots were drawn and wrapped in caution tape. #msd #neveragain pic.twitter.com/043cC2o6kA
— Emilee McGovern (@EmileeRose) May 25, 2018
Inside, people staged a "die-in," lying on the floor of two local Publix stores on Friday. Additionally, Hogg put out a call for 12-minute die-in's to occur in various locations that afternoon as well.
Together we can do anything. Together the young people will win by choosing love. pic.twitter.com/TRrfTJL2Wb
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) May 26, 2018
Guac’s parents Manuel and Patricia lied down together at “die in “ protest to Publix’s contributions to pro-NRA Adam Putnam’s campaign #ChangeTheRef #MarchForOurLives #parklandstrong pic.twitter.com/dYZSd6u9M7
— Change the Ref (@ChangeTheRef) May 25, 2018
The action worked, and Publix released a statement announcing that its donations to political candidates would cease.
"We regret that our contributions have led to a divide in our community," the statement read, according to Tampa Bay Times. "We did not intend to put our associates and the customers they serve in the middle of a political debate. At the same time, we remain committed to maintaining a welcoming shopping experience for our customers. We would never knowingly disappoint our customers or the communities we serve."
The corporation and its leaders have donated $670,000 to Putnam specifically over three years, as reported by Tampa Bay Times. Hogg is also asking Publix to donate $1 million to the Stoneman Douglas Victims fund, though it's not clear if that's going to happen.
I call on @Publix to donate double the money they gave to Putman to the Stoneman Douglas Victims fund, $1,000,000. And never support an A rated NRA politician again.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) May 24, 2018