The notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church's plan to protest the funeral of Krystle Campbell, the young woman killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, would have found the outrage they hoped to spark greatly diminished by local Teamsters.
According to the Huffington Post, Krystle Campbell, one of the three people killed in last week's Boston Marathon bombing, had her funeral protected by a 'human shield' of Teamsters in case protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church made good on their threat to show up and rally at the young woman's funeral (as it happened they stayed away).
On Sunday Sean O’Brien, head of Teamsters Local 25, reportedly asked fellow union members to help protect the mourners at the ceremony from having to witness a potential protest on Monday.
Teamsters Local 25 arrived in time for the 11 AM mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Medford prepared to create a human shield that would have stymied the Westboro Baptist Church's plans.
O'Brien and his fellow teamsters said that the Campbell family and friends have already endured enough heartache and tragedy this week, so they wanted to ensure a peaceful funeral with time for them to grieve privately.
Local 25 reportedly represents 11,000 men and women from the Boston area. O'Brien told the Boston Globe on Monday morning that he expected about 350 people to show up to form the human shield.
'It's the right thing to do,' he said. 'The family deserves a peaceful grieving process that's free from any coward-led group.'
The virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church blames gay people for all of societies ills and often protests the funerals of public figures and members of the military.
After announcing its attention to picket the funeral last week, Westboro said Massachusetts 'invited this special wrath from God Almighty when it was the first state to pass same-sex marriage.'
On the day however the Westboro protest never materialized. Hundreds of union members did turn out, with the Teamsters posting video of the funeral and the human shield on Facebook.
An estimated 11,000 mourners had attended Campbell's wake.