The Westboro Baptist Church plans to take its offensive picketing techniques to Times Square on Friday, with a planned protest set for 4:30 p.m.
From the group's website:
New York City is the epicenter of international commerce. These people care more about the almighty dollar than the Almighty God. New York also represents fag central. Millions of fags and their enablers proudly promote their filth in and around Times Square. WBC will shed some Gospel light on that mess.
Already, counter protests have been organized, mainly by members of the New York gay community, to block the group, or at least to create a human wall to prevent signs and slogans from reaching those in the bustling tourist mecca, according to Queerty.
Kenneth Woodhouse, a Cherry Grove and Westchester resident, has created a Facebook group for one of the protests and has so far invited more than 4,000 people (although only a hundred or so have RSVP'd).
“I was surprised we got that many invites in such a short period,” Woodhouse told Next Magazine. “It was just leapfrog really.”
Woodhouse said several groups plan to show up, and then "just really obliterate them in anonymity," he said. “To just have three rows of people around them so that the police can’t see them, the media can’t see them.”
Calling on all "queers, ‘fag-enablers’, tranarchists, anarchists and allies," Bash Back NYC also plans to march to Times Square from Bryant Park to disrupt the picketers.
The WBC, which gained notoriety several years ago for its virulent, homophobic pickets outside the funerals of American soldiers, has threatened to picket Sandy Hook funerals and the memorial service of Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, but backed down after Anonymous vowed retribution.
A petition started on the White House "We the People" site asking for the administration to officially label the WBC a hate group has so far collected 324,522 signatures.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said Bash Back NYC was affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement, in fact the Occupy website was merely posting advertising Bash Back NYC's plans for a WBC protest on its site.