Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, protests for gun reform in front of the White House


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Manuel Oliver displays a banner calling on government officials to prioritize gun violence prevention from a construction crane near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. Oliver’s son Joaquin Oliver was killed in the Parkland School shooting four years ago today.

Ashveen Saini, Social Media Editor

After the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resulting in the loss of 17 lives and injuring 17 more, many individuals in the community were motivated to enact change. This tragedy struck the community, but also brought the community members together, as many organizations were founded. Additionally, more people began speaking about gun reform and new laws.

Many parents of the victims continue to mourn the loss of their child four years after the tragedy. Manuel Oliver, the father of victim Joaquin Oliver, climbed a 150-feet tall construction tower next to the White House in a sign of protest for the reformation of gun laws.

Just before sunrise on Monday, Feb. 14, Oliver climbed the tower and dropped a banner calling for President Joe Biden to pass gun legislation. The banner stated, “45k people died from gun violence on your watch!” He called out Biden for the lack of action on campaign promises to combat gun violence.

After the loss of his son in the shooting, Oliver became an activist demanding for gun reform. He and his wife, Patricia Oliver, have participated alongside many organizations and advocated for change in gun laws. They are also trying to bring attention to the initiative they started with March for Our Lives and Guns Down America called Shock Market, a website that has been tracking gun violence since Biden’s inauguration.

“This is not a local issue, this is not a federal issue that just has to be solved here in DC. Of course we want to grab the attention from the White House … the location of the crane was exactly across from the White House so there’s no way to say ‘I couldn’t see the message’ because the message was very short and clear,” Patricia Oliver told the Guardian.

Oliver posted multiple photos and videos on social media of himself on top of the crane displaying the banner, tweeting that his son Joaquin is with him making his own statement. He also said that the whole nation can judge reality, but he expressed that he was peacefully taking action. Police were on the ground at this time.

“Today GUAC is with me making [his] own statement! So the whole nation can judge our reality. 150 feet high in front of the [White House]. Peaceful action. Police are on the ground!” Manuel Oliver said in a Tweet on Feb. 14, 2022.

Oliver said he is standing on the crane so the “whole world will listen to Joaquin.” He protested and requested to meet with Biden, but has not gotten an official response.

Because of this incident, police officers blocked off multiple roads that surrounded the White House. Around 10 a.m., Oliver and another person were seen climbing down the crane. When they reached the ground, they were handcuffed and taken into custody by the cops.

After four years since the tragedy, many are mourning; however, many are taking action for what they believe needs to be fixed. In this case, Oliver and many others are demanding change and will do anything to achieve their missions.