Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kan. organization whose members are known for showing up to high-profile funerals with signs claiming God's wrath brought upon the deaths, says it's headed to Orlando.
A group called Westboro Counter Protesters has hastily formed to counter any presence Westboro tries to maintain at the upcoming funerals of the Pulse nightclub victims.
Its profile photo is this image of victims' photos on the altar of First United Methodist Church of Orlando, taken at a Tuesday night interfaith service.
Westboro, which recently posted a piece titled "God Sent The Orlando Nightclub Shooter And Your 'Gay Pride' And Prayers Only Make It Worse," announced it's headed to town. The group also used the phrase "God Sent the Shooter" in protesting funerals after the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. last year.
The counter-protestors aren't convinced Westboro really is on the way. If so, they're ready"
"Tonight we were informed by a DHS and FBI liaison in town who stated Westboro always says they're going to show but whether they do or not we will never know until we're there. With that, we still need to be prepared. We know of funerals planned beginning tomorrow and each day for the rest of this week. We we will be reaching out to biker groups, car clubs, and other community organizations who can activate their members privately to be on site many hours before the funeral begins. Once the organizations are in place we will know what type of needs there are space available for counter protesters and will post that here publicly.
CLERGY: Please wear your Clerical Collars and Cassocks to be able to identify you in the crowd.
EVERYONE: Peace and non-violence is required. You will be shouted at and possibly spit on. NEVER engage back. Never."