Fans of the “horrorcore” hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse, also known as Juggalos, marched into the nation’s capital on Saturday to protest being labeled as a gang by the FBI.
“This is the day that we are asking every single Juggalo to join us in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to make a collective statement from the Juggalo Family to the world about what we are and what we are not,” the march organizers declared on the official site.
Distinguished by heavily painted faces that pay tribute to the band’s “horror clown” theme, Juggalos were classified as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” by the FBI in 2011. The agency’s report cited drug use and “their general destructive and violent nature.”
Juggalos, named after one of the band’s songs called “The Juggla,” claim the FBI’s label has led to discrimination and harassment.
“Being labeled a gang member can be a permanent stain on an individual’s life, since it will come up in a simple background check every single time,” wrote the march organizers. “Whether that person is applying for a job, trying to adopt a child, join the armed forces, or attempting to acquire housing … their name may pop up as being “gang-affiliated,” even if that person has never been charged with any kind of crime.”
USA Today reports that about 1,000 people were gathered at the Washington Monument, which included attendees of a pro-Trump rally held on the same day called the “Mother Of All Rallies.” However, there were no reports of conflict between the two groups.
“Juggalos are contributing members of society. Some of us are medics, military folks, we are the people who work at the cash register, who save your lives at the hospital,” one Jugalette (a female Juggalo) told the Hill.
According to Mic’s Jack Smith, the D.C chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America group joined the Juggalos.
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) September 16, 2017
The Insane Clown Posse filed a lawsuit against both the FBI and the Justice Department in 2014, demanding for the Juggalos to be removed from the list. A judge threw out the case, but the band won in a federal appeals court the following year.