On Saturday, juggalos–those clownish characters who have a penchant for rap rock–marched on Washington to protest their designation as a loosely organized gang by the FBI. Regardless of your opinions on the juggalo aesthetic, it is clear that the fans of Insane Clown Posse are no more of a gang than Dead Heads or Little Monsters. But the designation has real life consequences for these so-called adult clowns.
The march took place at the same time as the Mother of All Rallies, a pro-Trump rally, and Saturday had been billed as some sort of showdown between juggalos and Nazis.
But the truth is: while thousands of juggalos gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the other end of the Mall the MOAR was sparsely attended and the two groups had no real interaction. That, of course, does not mean that the juggalos didn’t get political, and some insisted that clowns are a color, too.
Instead, at the rally, juggalos gave speeches highlighting their unfair treatment and marched around the mall raising awareness of a civil rights issue that had received almost no attention until ICP announced the march. Perhaps it is not the most pressing political issue of the day, but when a fondness of a band gives police “probable cause” to search you, this becomes a discussion about civil liberties. As I’ve said before, even if you aren’t a fan of the music, using face paint and bad rap as a gang designation has real consequences for these fans.
We talked to juggalos to find out why they were marching, and what it means to be a juggalo in 2017.