Broward News

Mural Honoring Parkland Shooting Victims Is Defaced in Miami's Wynwood Neighborhood

Mural Honoring Parkland Shooting Victims Is Defaced in Miami's Wynwood Neighborhood
Photo by Naomi Feinstein
A mural honoring Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting victim Joaquin "Guac" Oliver was defaced today in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

The mural, which was created by Up Art Studio and stands on the corner of NW 23rd Street and NW First Place in the Miami arts district, shows Oliver leading a march alongside notable historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and outspoken MSD shooting survivor Emma González. Silhouettes of protesters hold up signs reading, "End gun violence" and "We call B.S.," quoting the viral speech González made in front of the Broward County Courthouse just three days after the mass shooting.

The mural was defaced with illegible tags, and devil horns were spray-painted on Oliver's likeness.

Surviving Parkland families reacted by circulating images of the vandalism on Twitter.

"I guess someone didn’t like Guac’s message," Oliver's father, Manuel, wrote. "Can we clean this mess or should we just let the dumb ones keep showing their 'amazing' artistic talents?"
"We are of course shocked and saddened," Elia Quiles, cofounder of Up Art Studio, tells New Times. "Unlike a mural that is put up for [the sake of] art, this has a message. For someone to take the time to deface the portrait of Guac is very disheartening."

The mural was unveiled last summer to honor the victims of the Valentine's Day massacre, to encourage constituents to vote in the midterm elections, and to spur the creation of federal gun control legislation.
It is unknown at this time who defaced the mural. But Manuel Oliver has irked members of the far right after criticizing congresspeople who block gun reform, including U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz.

In February, the congressman attempted to eject Oliver from a House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence prevention. In April, Oliver, who is a muralist himself, painted a portrait of Gaetz smiling while holding an AR-15, the assault rifle used in the MSD shooting.
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Naomi Feinstein is a summer intern for Miami New Times. She is a rising junior at the University of Miami, where she is double-majoring in journalism and political science. She is also the senior editor of the UM student newspaper, The Miami Hurricane.
Contact: Naomi Feinstein