Love Is Always Hard

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On the front, Pinckney’s widow Jennifer and daughters Eliana and Malana. Photo by Grace Beahm/Post and Courier

Charleston is standing strong. Thousands viewed the casket of pastor and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney in a horse-drawn carriage that rolled past the still-waving Confederate flag to a Capitol viewing even as they vowed the "city full of love" would counter a possible Westboro Church protest in their own peaceful way. After Westboro posted their intent to picket yet more funerals for yet more indecipherable reasons - God sent the shooter 'cause Pinckney supported Hillary Clinton?!? - the Charleston City Council passed a temporary emergency ordinance banning protests within 300 feet of funerals. At the same time, Anonymous announced a two-pronged strategy of cyber-attacks and sent a message to "the grieving people of Charleston: We ask that you put these hateful people from your mind entirely. Anonymous has this for you."

Charleston residents, meanwhile, have organized a peaceful human wall to stand shoulder to shoulder between protesters and victims' grieving families during the next week's funerals. To date, about 3,000 people have signed up for it. On the Facebook page for the event, organizers warn, “MOST IMPORTANTLY, you must be able to maintain a level head during this... We will remain calm, silent, and peaceful.” They also directly address the paltry Westboro clan: "Love will always overcome hate, and you're coming to a city full of love. Enjoy your time here." And for the first time since the shootings, Wednesday Bible study resumed in the same room at Emanuel AME. Over a hundred people turned up; one participant described a mood that was "spiritual and uplifting." The theme of the night's study: the power of love.

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