This week, Anonymous declared war on the Westboro Baptist Church over their plans to protest the funerals of victims from the Newtown school shooting tragedy. Besides leaking personal information and starting a website to organize their takedown, Anonymous members, along with motorcyclists, firefighters and policemen from the tri-state area, all descended upon Newtown yesterday to form a human shield to block the funerals from any Westboro protesters. You can see a video below.
Motorcyclist Jim Hannigan, part of the anti-Westboro group Patriot Guard Riders, told Patch: "All these guys see us and think we're bad. We're not. It's solidarity, is what it is. I just felt I had to be here." FDNY organized members to go via The Bravest, and Reddit had their own thread about it. Matthew Hack, a 23-year-old Danbury resident, created a Facebook page to help organize as well: Protect Sandy Hook Against Westboro Baptist Church.
In the end, although Westboro members were confirmed to be in town, none tried to attend the funeral of 47-year-old principal Dawn Hochsprung. But Anonymous say the group is still planning protests, pointing to alleged emails in which Westboro says they'll protest on Friday or Saturday; they continued their attacks on Westboro today as well.
There have been many, many funerals for victims throughout the week, including 27-year-old teacher Victoria Soto, who died protecting students from gunman Adam Lanza; Paul Simon, a friend of her family, performed "The Sound Of Silence" at her funeral. If you would like to donate, Newtown Patch has a list of places chosen by the families of victims that you can give memorial donations.