The petition to recognize the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group has garnered 319,424 signatures thus far, making it the largest online White House Petition since the site’s inception. To exemplify Westboro Baptist Church’s disdain for decency, they have announced that they intend to picket Aaron Swartz’s funeral on January 15th. Open Access pioneer Aaron Swartz’s suicide last week has prompted mourning throughout the Internet. In support of Swartz’s legacy and his family and friends, Anonymous has initiated #OpAngel. Just as Anonymous countered Westboro Hate Group’s protest at Newtown after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre just one month ago, they are gathering to protect the Swartz family from this dubious group consisting of 40 members, mostly family — possibly inbred (although I cannot confirm or deny the latter assertion).
According to one pastebin notice, those who support Anonymous will not be donning the ubiquitous Guy Fawkes mask, as “this is not a protest” and will be respected as a funeral. But, anyone interfering with the funeral attendees as they pay their respects to Aaron and his family members, will have a human chain formed around them, in order to give the mourners some privacy.
We encourage organizations who would like to form protective human shields near Aaron’s funeral to listen closely for any announcement by the family on this action and respect their wishes.
Operation Angel has a number of goals. First, we mean to facilitate the flow of information regarding the cult’s movements. We are encouraging the public and any members of Highland Park law enforcement with intel on the cults to e-mail that information to OpAngel@hushmail.com. You can use an anonymous e-mail address. You will not receive a response. You will not be exposed.
On Aaron, CNN reports:
“Aaron was a genius,” said Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and a senior policy analyst at the ACLU. “He was a technologist who was committed to open access to information, and committed to bringing about the changes he believed in.”
“Aaron was an embodiment of the Web, and a contributor to many of the aspects that made it great,” said Matt Mullenweg, who founded the blogging platform WordPress, in a statement. “When I was young and getting into technology Aaron was even younger and literally setting the standards for the Web with contributions to RSS 1.0 and Creative Commons. He inspired a generation to share online, to move to (San Francisco), to not be afraid to start things, and to break down barriers.”
Indeed, Aaron Swartz was a genius who sadly succumbed to depression which has plagued his life.. The prosecutor working on Aaron’s case, acted in an overzealous manner, unrelenting in his path to obtain glory via prosecuting a notable activist. Kudos to the Anons protecting the Swartz family on this very sad day.