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Can you imagine that anyone would even consider protesting the funerals of the little ones killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings?
But that's exactly what the members of the Westboro Baptist Church claimed they were planning. They announced they would picket the funerals in order "to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment."
The group had the audacity to blame the mass shootings on Connecticut's same-sex marriage legislation, claiming that tragedies such as this are God's punishment.
But that's when some Good Samaritans stepped in.
First, the hacktivist group Anonymous launched an attack, publishing private e-mail addresses, phone numbers and home addresses of various members, and teasing the group about the hack on Twitter. Anonymous also posted a video condemning the group for "breeding hatred" and adding, "We will destroy you. We are coming."
Next, two White House petitions were filed aiming to legally classify the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group. "Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group" has more than 72,000 signatures, while "Define the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group due to promoting animosity against differing cultural demographics" has an additional 17,000 signatures.
But perhaps most touching, members of the police and fire departments as far away as New York City traveled to Newtown to form a human wall to stop the protesters. Motorcyclists also lined up outside the church to keep the group from interrupting services.
"The images are stunning. Ordinary citizens, many not from Newtown, literally hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm with members of a motorcycle group called the Patriot Guard Riders, along with lines of police and firefighters," writes the New Civil Rights Movement.
See them for yourself below: