Manuel Oliver, the father of Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Parkland High School High School shooting, delivered a powerful speech at the ska legends concert, the Friday Night Special Night at Brooklyn Steel in New York.
Oliver was invited by the group – "One of my favorite bands ever," he told the crowd – and talked about the loss of his son in the filming of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who then dedicated his life to activism.
"This country has some problems, and the one that concerns me the most is that we think – because some people send the wrong message – that to be safe, you have to wear a fucking rifle. And I say no to that, "said Oliver to the crowd.
"And I say no to that because I'm a bastard of old school, like a bastard, like most of you here. And the good news is that the Americas think of old-school activism as a way to push each other. "
Joaquin "Guac" Oliver was one of 17 students and staff members killed in the Feb. 14, 2018 shootout in Parkland, Florida; Oliver was buried in the jersey of Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, who grew up close to the family following the shoot.
Manuel Oliver had previously criticized Louis C.K as a result of news that the disgraced comedian made Parkland-inspired jokes in his stand-up sets. Oliver has since devoted his life to activism with Change the Ref, which "uses urban art and creative nonviolent confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass-shooting pandemic," the organization says.
"On the 14th of February, yes, they murdered our son. But Patricia and I, Joaquin's parents, are still here. And we will continue this fight with you. Now, it's a little too late to protect our child, but our duty and our job is to protect your children, "added Manuel Oliver at the Specials concert.
"When they murdered our son, they fucked with the wrong family. And now, we will solve this problem, "he concluded before jumping into the well.
Manuel Oliver, Guac's father lived in the UK in high school and one of his favorite songs was "Too Young" from @thespecials . Today, the group pays tribute to Guac and all the victims of Parkland during their concert in Paris. @brooklynsteel Thank you @lynvalgolding for your support. #ChangeTheRef pic.twitter.com/roXq98AdaU
– Change the reference (@ChangeTheRef) June 14, 2019