When David Hogg found out that Publix donated over half a million dollars to Pro-NRA Republican candidate for Florida Governor Adam Putnam’s campaign, the high school senior lost it and decided to hold a “die-in” protest at his local Publix.The “die-in” consisted of several gun-control activists laying on the floor in different aisles for 12 minutes while chanting “USA not NRA!!” David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor, had taken to Twitter earlier in the week calling for people to boycott Publix until it rescinded its endorsement of Putnam.
David Hogg had no idea that his boycott against Publix would work AGAINST the liberal agenda. Publix pulling out of any and all donations also meant they would no longer donate to pro-gay marriage or pro-abortion organizations as Caleb Hull from IJR noted on Twitter.
Over Twitter, David Hogg explained that local residents planned to lie down in the aisles of two Publix stores before Memorial Day weekend. In his video on the 25th, he went on to claim that more students had been killed in school than U.S. soldiers serving abroad this year. This claim was never backed up by any actual data, remaining unsubstantiated.
Hogg, along with another senior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Diego Pheiffer, showed up at one Publix in Florida at 3 a.m. to draw chalk outlines of human bodies in parking spaces. After spending almost 14 hours at the store, Pheiffer claimed victory over the protest, “I’m really, really happy, especially at the fact that peaceful protest actually works,” he said. “It shows that people are listening even though a lot of people vocally don’t support us.”
I’m guessing Hogg, media darling of the left, never did much research into Publix or their public donations since the major supermarket chain was not donating solely to Republican campaigns or conservative causes, but donated on both sides.
Publix is Florida’s largest private employer as well as one of the state’s largest political donors with Florida Division of Elections website reporting Publix having donated $2.1 million to state candidates this election cycle alone. During 2016 elections, the database reports Publix giving $3million–to BOTH parties.
Publix announced on Friday they would be ceasing any and all political donations while its policies were reviewed and released a statement:
“At Publix, we respect the students and members of the community who have chosen to express their voice on these issues,” the supermarket released in a statement. “We regret that our contributions have led to a divide in our community. 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 environment for our customers.”
“We would never knowingly disappoint our customers or the communities we serve,” company spokesman Dwaine Stevens said in a statement Friday, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“As a result, we decided earlier this week to suspend corporate-funded political contributions as we reevaluate our giving processes.”
This announcement was actually the second time Publix had answered to the gun-control activists’ claims. They first responded to Hogg’s accustations via Twitter on May 15th stating that Publix had NOT provided financial support to the National Rifle Association.
The announcement came moments before the “die in” began at several Publix supermarkets which caused major issues for the employees as well as the customers. Several managers were forced to reroute their customers around the protesters laying on the floor to try and avoid running over them with their shopping carts. Some Publix stores in Orlando had the managers fetching groceries while customers stood to watch the protesters rather than them have to navigate around the bodies laying in the aisles.
Anti-NRA protesters and survivors of the MSD High School were met with about a dozen NRA supporters and at times it became heated–enough for police to intervene and separate two men of opposing sides at one point during the demonstration.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, towards the end of the protest at the Publix in Coral Springs, Florida, Hogg asked the crowd for a round of applause for the supermarket chain for allowing the demonstrations. Shortly after Hogg found himself face to face with counterprotestor Bill Caracofe who stuck his middle finger in Hogg’s face, the AP reported. “There are millions and millions of people who don’t worship everything that comes out of his mouth,” Caracofe told the AP.
The 17-year-old spokesman for gun-control was successful in pulling funding from Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” after she pointed out in a tweet that David Hogg did not get accepted by several colleges. At least 16 companies pulled commercials from Laura Ingraham’s show after Hogg’s rally to boycott all companies who sponsored the show.
Hogg has also called for a boycott of Vanguard Group and Blackrock, a pair of investment firms with indirect stakes in gun companies, in April according to ABC News.
This is not the first time a boycott has backfired and had the opposite effect from what protestors sought. Chick-fil-A experienced a tsunami of support when activists called for a boycott because of their CEO’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
We’re seeing the same thing with Publix. “Publix is a cult. Employees and customers are members,” said David Livingston of DJL Research, speaking to the Orlando Sentinel. “Publix will probably have a positive reaction. Everyone knows they are a stand up company, especially after a hurricane.” added Livingston.
After Hurricane Irma last summer, Publix set up hurricane landing pages on its websites and won over the internet with hurricane-themed cakes, which read “Weather it Out” and “Go Away Irma” according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Publix has faced increased backlash since the Tampa Bay Times reported that the company had given $670,000 to Putnam in the past three years. Another $147,000 was donated on top of that, including $78,000 from Carol Barnett, the daughter of Publix’s founder; $49,000 from former Publix executive M. Clayton Hollis Jr.; and $20,000 from Publix executive Hoyt Barnett, according to South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Putnam’s camp responded:
“Adam Putnam supports Publix, which is Florida’s top private employer. He is thankful for their support as Florida’s candidate over the years.”, a spokesperson for Putnam’s campaign said in a statement released the day of the die-in.
In the wake of the “die-in” orchestrated by Hogg and other anti-NRA protesters, thousands of NRA supporters have also voiced their disapproval of Publix and their lack of a spinal cord on Twitter urging others to take their business elsewhere. Publix now is dealing with the loss of customers on both sides of the gun debate, proving you can’t serve two masters.
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