The Juggalos – fans of pioneering Detroit horrocore/hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse – aren’t known for their civic activism.
But on Saturday, thousands of the colorful, misfit music enthusiasts – who dub themselves a “family” – gathered on the National Mall in Washington to exercise their Constitutional right to free speech and assembly. Why? Because in 2011, the FBI classified the entire fan base as a “hybrid gang” in its annual National Gang Threat Assessment report following some violent incidents involving self-proclaimed fans of the band.
The Juggalos were anything but violent at the rally – they seemed unfailingly polite, actually. But they are frustrated that the federal gang classification has prevented some of them who publicly affiliate with the band from getting jobs, admission to the military and even custody of their children.
“I’m a Juggalo, not a gang member,” read several signs held aloft at the rally.
After the protest march and several opening sets by other performers, Insane Clown Posse hit the stage under a bright moon and rocked for a solid hour in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. The rally was unlike any other we’ve seen on the National Mall, and the Juggalos certainly succeeded in getting their message across. Review & photos: Michael Coleman