Boston Strong, Teamster Proud


More than 1,000 Boston Teamsters, union members and concerned citizens lined the streets of Medford, Mass. on April 22, 2013, to serve as human shields blocking the Westboro Baptist Church hate group from picketing and disrupting the funeral of Krystle Campbell, who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15. The demonstrators did not show up.

“We will protect the mourners of the Boston Marathon bombing victims from hate group disruptions,” said Sean O'Brien, International Vice President and President of Local 25. “I am committed to making certain that the loved ones of the victims can grieve in peace. We will not stand by and allow these cowardly demonstrators to spout their hate toward these families.”

Boston’s Local 25 was contacted by concerned citizens in Medford asking for help keeping the hate group out of view and O’Brien asked all off-duty Teamsters to participate. He put out the call on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere, and the thousand-strong contingent of Teamsters made sure the mourners didn’t see the Westboro trolls.

Teamsters started arriving at 8 a.m. and formed a solid mass of people on the suburban roadway approaching the church where the funeral was being held. They stood silent guard as mourners drove slowly by on their way to the 11 a.m. service at St Joseph’s Church in Medford.

Boston Teamsters were also at the funeral of officer Sean Collier on April 24 to ensure that the Westboro hate group was hidden from mourners. Collier was ambushed and killed by the Boston bombers on April 18.

“This is what the Teamsters Union is about, it's what we do,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “I could not be more proud of Sean O'Brien and the Boston Teamsters for standing with these families during this tragic time.”

“I’ve never been prouder to be a Teamster and a Bostonian,” O’Brien said. “The city of Boston is filled with people who care about each other and will lift each other up when we are down or need a hand.”