Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Juggalos protest gang designation in Washington march

Juggalos protest gang designation in Washington march

In a moment that at first seemed it could spark a confrontation, a small group of Black Lives Matter protesters approached the stage, prompting one of the Trump supporters speaking on the stage to invite them up and hand them the microphone so they could provide their perspective.

But the momentary tension was defused when a Trump rally organizer invited them onstage and offered one of them a microphone.

Penix became a fan of Insane Clown Posse when she was 12 and said she used to hide it because she was bullied.

Both demonstrations are set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 16, and both eye the National Mall - where war veterans and Martin Luther King Jr. made their voices heard - as the backdrop for their demonstrations. In the end, hundreds of flag-waving demonstrators did their best to make some noise in support of the president, who had skipped town for the weekend.

While both events have explicitly urged participants in their codes of conduct to not use violence during their respective gatherings, the fear of possible clashes has grown in the wake of the violent Charlottesville, Virginia, demonstrations where a young woman was killed when a auto plowed into a group of people protesting a white nationalist rally.

"We represent people who weren't born with a silver spoon in their mouth but instead with a rusty fork", one member of the group, Violent J, said during an interview in 1995.

"As the years have gone by, the effects of this gang report have become very apparent and very, very shocking", he added, saying Juggalos have been profiled by law enforcement, discharged from the military and fired from their jobs for being fans of the band.

Thousands of Juggalos are expected to travel from all over the country for Saturday's march, meeting outside the Lincoln Memorial from 1pm.

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The report noted that only four states - Arizona, California, Pennsylvania and Utah - considered Juggalos to be a gang and later versions of the Gang Threat Assessment dropped any mention of them altogether.

A short distance away, a much larger pro-Trump demonstration is starting up on the National Mall.

The Washington Mall will hold what organizers are calling "The Mother of All Rallies" in support of President Donald Trump.

Another group of protesters calling for stronger actions against Russian Federation for Moscow's interference in the presidential election will gather nearby.

Later, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, juggalos, as supporters of the rap group Insane Clown Posse are known, rallied and readied for a concert.

Today in Washington, D.C., fans of the hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse - AKA Juggalos - gathered on the National Mall to protest against the Federal Bureau of Investigation labeling them as a gang back in 2011. In 2011, they classified Juggalos as a "loosely-organized hybrid gang" putting them in the same category as groups like the Bloods and Crips".

Some took to Twitter with turnout estimates, comparing the "Mother of All Rallies" to the Juggalo March.

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The center said it plans to the fight the state's efforts to shut it down. With Irma, the poles seemed to hold up well against the wind, he said.

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