The Insane Clown Posse have announced plans to go ahead with their Juggalo March on Washington, an event threatened by the group since late last year. The intent of the march is to protest FBI for classifying the group as a gang.
The Juggalo’s March on Washington was originally going to take place last year at the Gathering of the Juggalos, according to Entertainment Weekly. Instead, the group that brought us “Hokus Pokus” will be gathering their Juggalos to protest what they call an unfair gang designation on September 16.
In 2011, the FBI listed the Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” in their Gang Task report. The Insane Clown Posse members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have been working within the legal system ever since, hoping to have the designation removed. The Juggalos are, after all, just what the group called their fan following, who often dress in the same clown makeup as the entertainers.
“We have tried to use the American judicial system to achieve justice and we failed,” the march’s official website reads. “So on Saturday, September 16, 2017, we are taking our fight to the streets. Literally.”
The Juggalo March website goes into detail about the specifics of the gathering in Washington, D.C., planned for September. March organizers have made it clear that Juggalos are headed to Washington to have their voices heard, probably because a large gathering of Juggalos could be considered a threat due to their gang designation. The group wants to make sure that it is well publicized before the event that they are coming to town to protest just that.
“To be sure, this is NOT a party, Gathering of the Juggalos, or a frivolous social event. This march is a serious, peaceful public demonstration, organized for one purpose — to deliver a message to the world showing how Juggalos have been unfairly stigmatized and discriminated against simply for identifying as being part of a particular music-based subculture. The golden rule of the march for participants is simply this: If you’re not serious about being there, just stay home.”
Following the Juggalo March, Insane Clown Posse announced that they will be hosting a free concert in Bristow, Virginia. 2 Live Crew and Vanilla Ice have already been announced as performers at the upcoming show.
Insane Clown Posse is a hard-core rap group whose style has become known as “horrorcore.” Although not as popular as they have been in years past, the Insane Clown Posse’s fan base are called the “Juggalos,” and unlike the FBI designation, they consider themselves to be family and not a gang.
The 2011 FBI Gang Task Report states that “Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism, however, open source reporting suggests that a small number of Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales.”
“As many of you are no doubt personally aware, the FBI’s inclusion of Juggalos as a ‘gang’ has resulted in hundreds if not thousands of people subjected to various forms of discrimination, harassment, and profiling simply for identifying as a Juggalo,” the Juggalo website states.
“Over the past five years, our legal team has heard testimonies and reports from Juggalos all over the nation who have lost custody of their children, been fired from jobs, denied access into the armed forces, and the most common consequence — being officially labeled as a gang member by law enforcement agencies for wearing Juggalo related clothing or brandishing one or more Juggalo tattoos.”
The Insane Clown Posse lost a lawsuit in 2014 after it was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union requesting that the FBI designation be removed from the group. The symbol of the Juggalos, a man running with a hatchet, is a rather popular symbol worn by their fans in the form of jewelry and tattoos. The group has argued that they do not organize with the intent to commit crimes, they are not a street gang, and other music groups such as the Grateful Dead before them have seen their fans adopt symbols and nicknames for themselves without becoming an enemy of the state. The Juggalo March on Washington has been organized in a further effort to have the gang designation removed for the rap group and their fans.
[Featured Image by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images]