Oak Creek Stands for Newtown
Mass shootings are happening all too often across the country, and no one knows this better than the residents of those communities affected.
The residents of Oak Creek, WI, understand the pain these shootings cause—just four months ago, a white supremacist shot and killed six people at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
That’s why Oak Creek stood with Newtown, CT, on Sunday, holding a vigil to remember the 26 people killed in a shooting rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. Read the full story about the vigil on Oak Creek Patch.
Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, whose uncle was killed during the temple shooting, spoke at the vigil.
"We have to work harder to make the world better," he said. "It seems like it's getting worse...it just means you have to work harder, you have to work smarter, you have to get more people on board."
Two children whose parents were killed in the Wisconsin temple shooting read aloud the names of the children who died in Connecticut over the weekend. According to Oak Creek Patch, about 100 people attended the memorial gathering.
For ways to help the residents of Newtown, visit Newtown Patch for links and suggestions about how to give.
Other towns in the Not In Our Town network like Billings, MT, and Marshalltown, IA, are planning vigils for the shootings as well.
Two Billings churches, the Mayflower Congregational Church and the First Congregational United Church of Christ, co-sponsored “a Taize-style service, quiet and contemplative with prayers and candlelight,” on Monday night, according to the Billings Gazette.
The Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church held its own vigil in Marshalltown.
Westboro Baptist Church Plans Newtown Protest, Internet Groups Respond
The hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church announced plans to picket the funerals of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims that will be held on Wednesday. But social media efforts and online groups are working to help Newtown families mourn in peace.
Reddit commenters responded with overwhelming messages of love and compassion for the Newtown shooting victims to drown out Shirley Phelps-Roper, a WBC spokeswoman who attempted to start an IAmA chat on the website. Read the comments for yourself on Reddit.
According to a CTNews post, Redditors have even vowed to counter any WBC protest with a “silent blockade,” to shield funeral attendees from having to encounter the group.
Despite the social media and hacking barrages, the WBC says it still plans to picket the funerals on Wednesday. With all the help from their Internet supporters, however, the families of the victims of the Newtown shootings may be shielded from the hate group.
One Facebook group, Counter Action Against WBC Picketing Newtown Shooting Victims, comprised of more than 7,500 members, is organizing a “human wall of love.”
Communities have come together to stand up to the hate group during other tragic events, including the funerals after the Tucson, AZ shootings and the deadly tornado in Joplin, MO. See Not In Our Town's video collection, "Community Respones to Hate Groups."