CHARDON, Ohio – A group on Facebook is trying to encourage others to join a “human barricade” against a church that is planning to protest the funeral of a Chardon High School shooting victim.
The Facebook page shows more than 1,600 people signed up to take part in Saturday’s blockade.
Danny Parmertor, 16, was shot and killed after a gunman opened fire in the school Monday morning. His funeral is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at All Souls Cemetery.
On Tuesday, Fred Phelps Jr., who claims to be with the Westboro Baptist Church out of Topeka, Kansas., posted on Twitter, “Westboro Baptist Church intends to street-preach at #OhioHighSchoolFunerals regarding God’s hand, judgments and vengeance in this affair.”
Another tweet posted by an apparent WBC member specifically said the protesters will picket Danny Parmertor’s funeral Saturday at 9 a.m.
As a response, the creator of the Facebook group, Alex Pavlick, said he wants to get people together to protect the Parmertor family from a display of hate.
“This is NOT a protest. This is an assembly. We are not here to show our dislike for the Westboro Baptist Church,” wrote Pavlick. “We are not here to assault the Westboro Baptist Church. We are not here to voice our opinions on members of the Westboro Baptist Church. We are here to do everything we legally can to help the Parmertor family grieve properly, BURY THEIR SON and not have a horrible day made even worse by a group of extremists.”
Pavlick said he expects everyone to take place in the barricade legally.
“If (the WBC protesters) do appear, I want us to surround the front of Saint Mary’s Church. We link arms, and DO NOT LET THEM PASS. We are silent the whole time. The venom spewing out of their mouths has no effect on use. We stand united as a strong unit with one goal. Keep these people as far away from the Parmertor family as possible,” he wrote.
Learn more about the human barricade effort here: