Update 4:30 p.m. Publix has announced that it is "suspending" all political donations in the wake of the die-in protests. Here's the grocery chain's statement:
Early this morning, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors and #NeverAgain activists gathered in the dark parking lot of a Coral Springs Publix and began tracing bodies on the asphalt in chalk. When they were finished well before dawn, they'd drawn the outlines of 17 victims and an ominous twist on Publix's famous slogan: "Where shooting is a pleasure."
The students' "die-in," which they live-streamed to tens of thousands of viewers around the globe, is the latest in a growing backlash against the supermarket chain over the $500,000 it has given to the campaign of GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, who bragged he was a proud "NRA sellout" before the massacre that killed 17 people at the Parkland high school.
"What's going on today is we're starting a boycott of Publix," David Hogg, a Parkland student and #NeverAgain organizer, says in a Twitter live-stream. "This is not against Publix employees at all. I want you to understand this is against the corporation. This is against everything they're doing with Putnam."
A #BoycottPublix movement began last week after the Tampa Bay Times first reported on Publix's massive financial support of Putnam, a hard-line NRA backer. The grocery giant has tried to distance itself from Putnam's gun record and insisted it's supporting his campaign only because of his tax policies. (Though, as New Times pointed out this week, there are plenty of other reasons for progressives to stay away from Publix beyond its support of Putnam.)
Hogg says anyone who wants gun reform in the wake of the bloodbaths in Parkland and Sante Fe, Texas, should pressure Publix this weekend.
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"It's Memorial Day weekend, and that's one of the most profitable times of year for them," Hogg says in the footage.
Hogg blasts Putnam for his record on gay rights and guns.
"He's anti-LGBTQ rights. It's 2018, for god's sake," he says. "And he supports the NRA and has an A rating. Publix gave him half a million dollars. What I'm calling on Publix to do is to pull that out of his campaign, double it, and give that money to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund. We have a lot of people with medical bills to pay for years to come."