Juggalos marched on Washington, DC (pics)
When Insane Clown Posse set this weekend's date for a March of the Juggalos back in January, immediately following the worldwide Womens' Marches, I was a litle skeptical. What could the face-painted, clown-costumed, Faygo-drinking, "whoop whoop"-ing fans of Insane Clown Posse possibly have to march on Washington D.C. about? Were they making a mockery of the very real concerns of the Women's March, like access to health care, immigration reform, and combating sexual assault?
Before Juggalos marched on Washington D.C.'s National Mall on Saturday (9/16), they gathered at the bottom of the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial, looking out over the Reflecting Pool. There, a variety of speakers addressed the crowd over the course of the afternoon: a lawyer, a community organizer, a Juggalette who'd served in the air force, others. They spoke of the actual repercussions of involvement in a group labeled a "gang" by the FBI: losing custody of children, getting fired from jobs, being barred from school grounds, and otherwise judged, ostracized and maligned… all because of a band they listen to.
It's true the Juggalos have a certain reputation. The annual Gathering of the Juggalos is notorious for being a weekend of Faygo-soaked debauchery, with rampant drug use and nudity. Onlookers hoping to witness a spectacle of violence and bad behavior at Saturday's march, however, left disappointed. Juggalos greeted friends as family (the sense of community in the group is real, and strong; chants of "family, family" punctuated the air all day); some brought children and pets. I saw Juggalos of all ages, races, and gender presentations, and even wheelchair-using Juggalos weren't left behind.
So not only did the Juggalo march turn out to be an empowering event with countless displays of solidarity, it was clear that yes, the FBI labeling Juggalos as a “gang” is a massive injustice.
Check out pictures from The March of the Juggalos in the gallery below. Insane Clown Posse begin a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Great Milenko in a few days, including a show at Villain in Williamsburg (tickets).
UPDATE: Insane Clown Posse thanked attendees for making the Juggalo March a success:
Juggalos, we have made history. Literally. On Saturday, September 16, 2017, more than 3,000 Juggalos and non-Juggalos alike made a permanent notch in the chronicles of American history at the Juggalo March
There we were, a family united in rock-solid unity, making our voices heard as we shouted to the world what we know as gospel truth: We are a family united by music, love, fellowship, and camaraderie … and not a gang or any other criminally minded organization.
And the world listened.
As a direct result of the Juggalo Family coming together as one unstoppable force, the media erupted into a frenzy, telling why we were marching on Washington, the pathetic history of the 2011 FBI Gang Task Force report labeling Juggalos as a “loosely organized hybrid gang,” and almost unanimously agreed with us that the labeling is ridiculous, damaging, and un-American. We are hopeful that this will turn the tide of public opinion about the Juggalo Family and positively affect our ongoing litigation against the U.S. Department of Justice as we seek to have our good name restored by having the FBI issue an official retraction against their 2011 report, which continues to have a devastating effect on Juggalo lives across the nation, ranging from denial of military service to loss of child custody to –the most common consequence—being added to a local and/or state gang list for wearing Juggalo-related merchandise or tattoos.
Psychopathic Records and its legal team, which includes the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, is due back in court for oral arguments in Sixth District Court on October 11, 2017. The fight—and the Dark Carnival—will carry on!
For now, we want to say two very important words to the Juggalo Family: Thank you.
Thank you to each and every person who attended the Juggalo March or who supported its mission even if they couldn’t personally be in Washington, D.C.
Thank you to all of the marshalls who volunteered their time and effort in picking up trash, ensuring the march route was followed to a T, and all the other miscellaneous effort they made towards ensuring the Juggalo March was such an outstanding success.
photos by Amanda Hatfield