Anonymous has been hitting the Westboro Baptist Church hard after the hate group announced it would picket funerals in Newtown. The hacker collective has released private information about the church’s most influential members, hacked into its spokesperson’s Twitter account and taken down 19 of its registered domains. Now, Anonymous is planning to take its efforts offline and into the town itself.
Using the hashtag #OccupyNewtown, Anonymous and its supporters have begun to organize a group of people willing to go to Newtown and build a silent human shield to keep Westboro members away from mourners. The tactic has been successfully used in the past by Texas A&M students to keep the group away from a soldier’s funeral in College Station, Texas. Anonymous plans to use Dickinson Park in Newtown as a meeting place.
Westboro has begun circulating a “news release” saying that it will protest the funeral of Sandy Hook’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung, tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. The group believes “God sent the shooter” because gay marriage has been legalized in many states.
Some have voiced concerns that Anonymous will simply cause more disruption by showing up, but the group plans to cause as little commotion as possible. “do not shout at #WBC in front of the funeral proceedings, respect families, and form a silent human wall to shield them from hate,” advised KY Anonymous, who began the operation against Westboro.