The Westboro Baptist Church is claiming to picket the funerals of the victims killed in last week’s shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The church has used the hashtag, “God sent the shooter,” multiple times on Twitter following the tragedy. In response, online hacktivist group Anonymous says they will retaliate in person and online if Westboro church members attend any of the funerals.
But perhaps more notable is that after the event page, “Human Wall Barrier to protect AME funerals,” popped up on Facebook, more than 2,000 of 10,000 invitees have clicked “attend.” Organizer Katharina Ross Garvin is requesting attendees to peacefully come to the funerals at Mother Emanuel in order to block Westboro church members from disrupting families of the victims: “Just people standing shoulder to shoulder in silence or possibly singing quietly.”
Garvin is asking attendees to bring a six-pack of water with them, and nothing more.
Today, the City of North Charleston held an emergency meeting to pass an ordinance that prohibits protesters from coming near the funeral and burial services. Westboro Baptist Church has responded on Twitter, saying that they’ll carry on through drive-by picketing, and banner flyovers.
We will try to bring you live-streams of the funerals over the coming days. You can watch them below.