How Boston and the Internet Scared Off Westboro Church from a Victim Funeral

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Today was supposed to be a big day for the hate-filled and attention-starved Westboro Baptist Church: In the wake of the Boston bombings, they were planning to picket the funeral of Krystle Campbell, the 29-year-old victim of the marathon attack. And it was all going so well until — well, until Anonymous and the Boston Teamsters got involved.

This is gross release the WBC sent out in anticipation of Campbell's funeral:

That's about as terrible as everything we've come to expect from the WBC — tasteless, senseless, and attention getting. So when the Local 25 Teamsters, the Boston chapter of the national labor union group, heard of the hate group's plans, the teamsters called them out: "Show your face," read one post on the union's site; "no-shows" read a @teamster tweet. That's because they decided to make a human chain to let Krystle's family and friends mourn in peace: 

Pretty cool, right?

Here's how they arrived:

Here's another shot of the line forming:

And of the group's "silent presence" outside the funeral in Medford, Massachusetts:

And here's the long view via Reuters, from outside St. Joseph Church:

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Its unclear how many of those in the chain are teamsters, and how many people lined the streets to show their respect for the young Ms. Campbell and her family But one thing is clear: the WBC haters were nowhere to be sen, and the teamsters say the hate group didn't show up.

That's reminiscent of when the "church" failed to show up at the funeral of the late hacker Aaron Swartz, after threats from the do-gooder hacktivists at Anonymous. And — what do you know? — Anonymous took control of Westboro's Facebook page today, too: 

Though there are reports of the page getting hacked, this Facebook page actually belongs to Anonymous, as NBC News's Helen A.S. Popkin and Matthew Keys point out—there are "hacked" posts long before the Boston bombings occurred. That's not exactly the kind of attention Westboro had been hoping for, but it's exactly the type of resilience Boston has showed a week after the bombings. A national moment of silence was planned for 2:50 p.m., one week to the day since the attacks began.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.