Oliver was invited onstage by the group – “One of my favorite bands ever,” he told the crowd – and spoke about losing his son in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting and subsequently dedicating his life to activism.
“This country has a few problems, and the one that concerns me the most is that we think – because of some people are sending the wrong message – in order to be secure is to carry a fucking gun. And I say no to that,” Oliver told the crowd.
“And I say no to that because I am old-school, bad-ass motherfucker, like most of you here. And the good news is that Americas thinks in kind of an old-school way of activism, a way where you can push each other.”
Joaquin “Guac” Oliver was one of 17 students and staff members killed in the February 14th, 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida; Oliver was buried in the jersey of Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, who grew close to the family in the aftermath of the shooting.
Manuel Oliver previously criticized Louis C.K. following news that the disgraced comedian made Parkland-inspired jokes in his standup sets. Oliver has since dedicated his life to activism with Change the Ref, which “uses urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass shooting pandemic,” the organization states.
“On February 14th, yes they murdered our son. But Patricia and me, Joaquin’s parents, are still here. And we’re gonna keep this fight along with you. Now, it’s a little too late for us to protect our kid, but now our duty and our job is to protect your kids,” Manuel Oliver added at the Specials’ gig.
“When they murdered our son, they fucked with the wrong family. And now we’re gonna solve this problem,” he concluded before leaping into the waiting mosh pit.
Manuel Oliver, Guac’s Dad lived in the UK during middle school and one if his favorite songs was “Too much too young” by @thespecials . Today the band is honoring Guac and all Parkland victims in their gig at @brooklynsteel Thanks @lynvalgolding for your support. #ChangeTheRef pic.twitter.com/roXq98AdaU
— Change the Ref (@ChangeTheRef) June 14, 2019