Publix suspends contributions to NRA-backed politician amid protests

Protests prompted supermarket chain Publix to suspend all political contributions after it was revealed to have given more than half a million dollars to a Florida Republican who called himself a “proud NRA sellout.”

Publix was found to have given $670,000 in donations over the past three years to Adam Putnam, Florida’s current agriculture commissioner, who is now running for governor. But in Florida, where a school shooter in Parkland killed 17 people earlier this year, many locals aren’t about to let a National Rifle Association “sellout” run their state.

On Wednesday, Parkland shooting survivor and gun-control activist David Hogg issued a call on Twitter for people to stage a “die in” at the grocery store, which has locations throughout the Southeast. 

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Parkland shooting survivors hold 'die-in' at Publix
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Parkland shooting survivors hold 'die-in' at Publix
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Manuel Oliver lays next to his wife Patricia Oliver as she holds a picture of their son Joaquin Oliver who was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting as they join with others for a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom were students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting, speaks to the media before particpating in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom were students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting, shakes hands with police before particpating in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom were students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: David Hogg hugs Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin Oliver, was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting as they particpate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom were students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Caspen Becher (R) a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is hugged as she joins with others for a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom were students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Manuel Oliver whose son Joaquin Oliver was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting particpates in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom were students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CORAL SPRINGS, FL - MAY 25: Protesters participate in a 'die'-in' protest in a Publix supermarket on May 25, 2018 in Coral Springs, Florida. The activists many of whom are Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students entered the Publix store to protest against the company's support of political candidates endorsed by the National Rifle Association who oppose gun reform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Prior to the demonstration, Publix issued a statement expressing “regret” that its political contributions had led to an “unintentional customer divide.” On Friday, it released a new statement saying it would be suspending political contributions.

“We would never knowingly disappoint our customers or the communities we serve,” the company said in a statement provided to HuffPost. “As a result, we decided earlier this week to suspend corporate-funded political contributions as we reevaluate our giving processes.”

The same day, Hogg attended a protest at a Coral Springs Publix, where he and supporters lay on the floor for 12 minutes.

“USA over NRA!” the activists chanted at one point. 

“Suspended means nothing,” Ryan Deitsch, a March for Our Lives activist at the Coral Springs store, told the Sun Sentinel. “Publix knows we’re not going away.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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