First responders were still on the scene at Boston's devastated Copley Square when fringe hate group Westboro Baptist Church announced it would be picketing the funeral of Boston Marathon bombing victims.

In the message, the group states that "Massachusetts invited this special wrath from God Almighty when it was the first state to pass same-sex marriage on May 17, 2004."

However, hacktivist group Anonymous made it very clear that if the WBC tried anything in Boston, they would feel the full fury of the online community.


WBC, an anti-gay, anti-Semitic group, has made a name for itself as an ambassador of the offensive. Throughout the past few years, the Kansas-based group has threatened to picket everything, including the funerals of victims of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting, as well as those of American soldiers and the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre.

But in what could be described as an unintended consequence of the WBC's hatemongering, people across the country have come together to fight the group. In the process, the direct result of WBC protests is often more tolerance, more acceptance and a sense of community-wide solidarity.

After the group threatened to picket in Newtown, Conn., Anonymous launched a full-fledged attack on the WBC, publishing group members' personal information online, overtaking the group's main website and hacking the Twitter account of one if its representatives.

Similarly, motorcycles protectively lined up outside the funeral for Newtown victim Principal Dawn Hochsprung, forming a wall of humans and machines. And when Anonymous announced plans to block the WBC from picketing Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz's funeral, the group backed down at the last minute.

When four WBC members showed up to decry the so-called "fag agenda" at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., they were met by more than 500 student and community protesters. The Vassar counter-protest has so far raised more than $100,000 for the Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth.

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  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    BOSTON - APRIL 15: Police officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street. The first explosion knocked down a runner at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    A woman kneels and prays at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    The marathon finish line bridge is seen on Boylston Street on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Security is especially tight in the city of Boston after two explosions went off near the finish of the Marathon, killing three people and injuring at least 141 others. (Darren McCollester / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    In this photo provided by The Daily Free Press and Kenshin Okubo, people react to an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (Kenshin Okubo / The Daily Free Press / AP)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Newspapers are on sale at a stand on Newbury Street on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Security is especially tight in the city of Boston after two explosions went off near the finish of the Marathon, killing three people and injuring at least 141 others. Darren McCollester / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    A runner reacts near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Alex Trautwig / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Officials react as the first explosion goes off on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Boston Police look at blown out windows at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Unclaimed finish line bags are viewed near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon, on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Three people are confirmed dead and at least 141 injured after the explosions went off near the finish line of the marathon yesterday. The bombings at the 116-year-old Boston race, resulted in heightened security across the nation with cancellations of many professional sporting events as authorities search for a motive to the violence. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    A heavily armed Boston police officer (R) and a National Guard soldier (L) stands guard in front of the Taj Hotel April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts, in the aftermath of two explosions that struck near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15. A massive probe was underway Tuesday after two bombs struck the Boston Marathon, killing at least three and wounding more than 100. Monday's blasts near the finishing line raised fears of a terrorist attack more than a decade after nearly 3,000 people were killed in suicide airliner strikes on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. US President Barack Obama went on national television to warn against "jumping to conclusions" but a senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said such an attack was "clearly an act of terror." (Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    In this image from video provided by WBZ TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Boston. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/WBZTV) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Police officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street. The first explosion knocked down a runner at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. (John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    BOSTON - APRIL 15: Two officials run away from the first explosion, right, on Boylston Street at the 177th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

    Karen Kaye, right, communications and community relations director for Big Peach Running Co., embraces Reginald Bohannon, of Atlanta, before the start of an organized moment of silence and memorial run to show solidarity with victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Atlanta. The explosions Monday afternoon killed at least three people and injured more than 140. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Carlos Arredondo, who was at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon when two explosives detonated, leaves the scene on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Darren McCollester / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Emergency workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

    One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by two people in protective suits in the wake of two blasts in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    There was smoke and panic in the street as emergency personnel responded to the scene after two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Karen Kaye, right, communications and community relations director for Big Peach Running Co., embraces Reginald Bohannon, of Atlanta, before the start of an organized moment of silence and memorial run to show solidarity with victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Atlanta. The explosions Monday afternoon killed at least three people and injured more than 140. (David Goldman / AP)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    BOSTON - APRIL 15: Emergency personnel respond to the scene after two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    BOSTON - APRIL 15: Two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Medical workers wheel the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    A second explosion goes off (rear) as a runner was blown to the ground by the first explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. (John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    First responders rush to where two explosions occurred along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two powerful explosions rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon near Copley Square and police said many people were injured. (Kelvin Ma / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    First responders rush to where two explosions occurred along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two powerful explosions rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon near Copley Square and police said many people were injured. (Kelvin Ma / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

    Firefighters tend to a man following an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line Monday killing at least two people injuring dozens. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Runners and spectators flee from the scene where two explosions occurred along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two powerful explosions rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon near Copley Square and police said many people were injured. (Kelvin Ma / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    First responders tend to the wounded where two explosions occurred along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two powerful explosions rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon near Copley Square and police said many people were injured. (Kelvin Ma / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    A runner embraces another woman near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Alex Trautwig / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Massachusetts State Police guard an area near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Alex Trautwig / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Police and runners stand near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 28 injured after at least two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (PAlex Trautwig / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    A woman looks at the blood on her hands as she is loaded into an ambulance after being injured after two bombs exploded on the marathon route on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Jim Rogash / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    In this photo provided by The Daily Free Press and Kenshin Okubo, people assist an injured after an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (Kenshin Okubo / The Daily Free Press / AP)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    In this photo provided by The Daily Free Press and Kenshin Okubo, people help an injured person after an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (Kenshin Okubo / The Daily Free Press / AP)

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

    Investigators shine flashlights at one of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in the wake of two blasts in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    In this handout provided by the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama (L) talks on the phone with FBI Director Robert Mueller to receive an update on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the Oval Office of the White House, April 15, 2013 in Washinton, DC. Seated with the President are Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Pete Souza / The White House / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Explosion

    Beacon Street near Kenmore Square remains empty for the use of emergency vehicles after two explosive devices detonated at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Alex Trautwig / Getty Images)

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

    Boston police officers keep a perimeter secure in Boston's Copley Square, Tuesday, April 16, 2013 as an investigation continues into the bomb blasts at the finish area of the Boston Marathon which killed 3 and injured over 140 people. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Marathon Bombing

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

    In this image from video provided by Ryan Hoyme, the second explosion can be seen in the distance as smoke from the first explosion surrounds spectators exiting the stands during the Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Ryan Hoyme)

  • Boston Marathon Bombings

  • Boston Marathon Bombings