More than to protest at in Hyattsville this morning.
Five people from the group known for its anti-homosexual stance and for picketing at the funerals of soldiers, showed up at 9 a.m., waved signs, to songs by Lady Gaga and Ke$ha.
“We’re happy to be here … to tell you some truth of God,” said Westboro protester Megan Phelps-Roper. “The definition of loving your neighbor is to warn them … that they are going to hell.”
Phelps-Roper, 25, works at her family’s law firm and protests on her days off.
“[It is] a big lie that’s told in this nation that God loves everyone,” she said.
The group also protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers.
“You taught that person rebellion,” she said. “It’s not a blessing when your child comes home in a body bag in little pieces.”
Another Westboro protester, Jael Phelps, 26, said that they chose Northwestern because they heard that it is a large school in the area.
"It's our duty to prevent kids going to hell," Phelps said, adding that the reason they would go to hell is because America allows homosexuality.
According to , Megan’s mother, the group has done 45,300 protests to date. Their next stop is the FBI Academy at Quantico to speak.
Shirley Phelps-Roper said that the group began its protests 22 years ago after they saw homosexuals having sex in a public park. While protesting on a public sidewalk, an IED was thrown at the group, she said.
The Westboro protesters stood along a small section of the east side of Adelphi Road in University Park across from Northwestern. Counter protesters lined the opposite side of the street, calling out chants and cheers and holding homemade signs and banners.
and other parts of the county came out to support the high school and to represent their community positively.
gathered at the University Hills Duck Pond about 7:30 a.m. and marched with picket signs from Wells Parkway to Northwestern.
A small group of Northwestern students and former students posted signs along the grass off Adelphi Road. Police from Hyattsville and University Park monitored the event. Sgt. Greg Phillips of the HPD, said that this was the first protest in Hyattsville during his 30 years on the force.
University Park resident Nicole Lucier, who organized a part of the counter protest, said she was pleased with the turnout.
“We couldn’t hear [the Westboro protesters] because of the traffic,” she said. “We have a great representation of students and parents from Northwestern.”
Writer Diana Elbasha transcribed interviews for this report.