New Jersey resident Steve Wruble, who was moved to drive out to Connecticut to support local residents, grieves for victims of an elementary school mass shooting at the entrance to Sandy Hook village in Newtown, Connecticut December 15, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
Following the Westboro Baptist Church's (WBC) proclamation that they plan to picket at the funerals for the victims killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, petitions and hackers have gone of the offensive to make sure the WBC stay quiet.
WBC spokesperson Shirley Phelps-Roper's twitter account was hacked after tweeting controversial statements of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy.
According to Wired.com, the hacker was revealed to be a 15-year old by the name "Cosmo the God."
After the hacking, the WBC spokesperson's twitter account was suspended by Twitter but did so after Cosmo revealed Phelps-Roper's phone number and linking to a White House petition to recognized WBC as a hate group.
The petition in question includes the "Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group."
The White House webpage allows users to create petitions for an array of topics, and if a petition garners 25,000 signatures then the Obama administration has to provide a statement to the cause.
The petition to recognize WBC as a hate group has received (as of Dec. 21, 2:50 p.m. EST) 235,363 signatures. The petition was created on the same day as the Sandy Hook shootings.
"[WBC's] actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians," stated the petition. "They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation."
Phelps-Roper's account has been reactivated on Thursday.
Another petition has been created on Change.org, to prevent WBC from protesting the funerals of the Sandy Hook victims. The Change petition received over 22,400 signatures.
The WBC isn't done picketing funerals however. The group plans to picket two police offers funerals. The officers, David Gogian and Jeff Atherly, were killed during a shootout outside of a supermarket last Sunday.
After hearing about WBC's latest plans, over 2,000 people have signed up to form a human shield to block WBC from the funeral.
The grassroots movement titled "Surround and Protect" started on Facebook and will take place at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka on Saturday.
The WBC does have the right to picket, according to a ruling by the Supreme Court in 2011, claiming First Amendment rights. President Barack Obama did sign that such protests must take place 300 feet away from funerals, as noted in the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012
For the names of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, click here.