When David Hogg called for a "die-in" protest at Publix supermarkets, his supporters were ready to help. As a number of Florida school shooting survivors took over two Parkland Publix markets, others in Orlando and beyond were forcing stores to reroute customers. People laid on the ground, some chanting phrases like, "USA, not NRA!" Several shoppers stopped to watch, as others merely navigated their way around the protesters lying on the floor, reported the Washington Post.
The protests were initiated by David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shootings and now an outspoken gun control activist. Hogg routinely receives widespread media coverage, which adds to the power that he wields. Hogg wanted Publix to stop donating to Adam Putnam, who is a staunch NRA-supporter. According to PJ Media, Publix has donated over half a million dollars to Putnam. Hogg called the supermarket an "NRA sellout," and called for the "die-in" to start 4 p.m. on Friday, and it was supposed to last 12 minutes, detailed the Sun Sentinel.
Phil Lempert from the Supermarket Guru noted that Publix caving in to the protesters' demands was unusual.
"But we live in unusual times, and when we look at gun violence, all the rules are being rewritten... I think the impact will affect their bottom line in the very short term due to the protests, but canceling all political contributions is a very smart move."Publix initially hoped to clear the confusion brought on by Hogg by saying that they had been supporting Putnam for years because he is a "hometown candidate." And prior to the protest, Publix would not comment on whether they would allow the protests to take place. In the past, Publix painted itself in a very positive light and got a lot of good coverage after being a positive force in the community after Hurricane Irma. David Livingston from DJL Research noted that the response from its decision to halt donations would likely be positive.
"Publix is a cult. Employees and customers are members... Publix will probably have a positive reaction. Everyone knows they are a standup company, especially after a hurricane."Others believe that Publix immediately giving into the protester demands could have a negative impact on the company.Meanwhile, some wonder what Hogg will be up to next. While many people applaud Hogg for his efforts, others are more wary of the impact that the young man has on current events and politics. Some question why Hogg is so widely covered in the mass media, whereas others view Hogg as a relevant leader in today's gun control debate.