The father of a Parkland shooting victim was taken into custody after he died Monday as part of a protest against gun violence and in honor of the fourth anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that killed 17 people Construction crane climbed near the White House had injured people and 17 others.
Manuel Oliver, whose 17-year-old son Joaquin “Guac” Oliver was one of 17 victims of the country’s deadliest high school shooting, said he climbed the 150-foot crane “so the whole world will listen to Joaquin today.”
On top of the crane, Oliver unfurled a banner with a picture of his son and a message to Joe Biden: “45,000 people died from gun violence under your watch.”
Police surrounded the crane below and cordoned off the 600 block of 15th Street Northwest.
“I was in DC [in] December to meet @POTUS. Today GUAC joins me [his] own statement! So that the whole nation can judge our reality. 150 feet high in front of [White House]. peaceful action. Police are on site!” Oliver tweeted this morning.
In December, Oliver said he flew to the capital uninvited to try to speak with the president about gun violence and tightening gun control legislation.
“There’s no time for a formal invitation and I’m here,” Oliver told WUSA9 in December. “We don’t have to waste any more time. I’ll do something I haven’t done before. I’m going back to a person I already met when he was running for President and I plan on having him meet me and I want some answers.
He added: “Everything we’ve talked about, what’s the agenda, what’s the plan? More than 150,000 people have died at gunpoint since Joaquin was killed.”
Ever since the death of his son, Oliver has been no stranger to gun control activism. In 2018, Oliver performed a one-man play entitled Guac: My Son, My Hero in honor of his son and other victims and families of gun violence.
He and his wife Patricia have also painted murals for Change the Ref, which they launched after the Parkland shoot. The group’s mission is to “raise awareness of mass shootings through strategic interventions that reduce NRA influence [National Rifle Association] at the federal level,” the website reads.
David Hogg, a gun control activist and shooting survivor, spoken in support of Oliver under the crane and said, “Manuel Oliver is an advocate for gun violence prevention and is today demanding a change from the Biden administration so they do everything they can to address gun violence and stop the next parkland happening before it happens.” .”
Hogg then directed viewers to visit Shock Market, a social media campaign tracking gun violence casualties under the Biden administration.
Shock Market, which Hogg launched on the fourth anniversary of the shooting, includes breakdowns of gun violence, including fatalities, injuries, mass shootings, minors killed and injured, and accidental shootings.
According to the campaign, 47,611 people have died from gun violence since Biden took office.
Last October, Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. The guilty pleas will set the stage for a criminal trial in which 12 jurors will decide whether Cruz should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.