Published: Mon, September 18, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

The best signs from the 'Juggalo March' in Washington

The best signs from the 'Juggalo March' in Washington

Washington is a circus on most days, but Saturday could be exceptionally carnival-like as thousands of so-called Juggalos - fans of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse - descend on D.C.

"Specifically, you are in violation of this policy due to your posting 'pictures, images or information suggesting identification with a Security Threat Group (Juggalos) or which portray security threat group in a positive and appealing manner, ' " said the memo she got in March as she lost her job. As one of the three major protests that day, they swarmed the National Mall to protest the FBI's classification of Juggalos as a "hybrid gang" from their annual National Gang Threat Assessment in 2011. "The FBI can not initiate an investigation based on an individual's exercise of their First Amendment rights", it said.

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Hundreds of Juggalos gathered on the National Mall for the march, which was preceded by speeches from Juggalos who said they've been discriminated against for their support of the band, and performances from musicians on the hip-hop group's Psychopathic Records label.

The Metropolitan Police Department closed several roads around the Mall because of Saturday's events, which included supporters of President Donald Trump also taking to the National Mall for what they dubbed the "Mother of All Rallies". The band, along with the ACLU, sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014 seeking to change the classification but with little success so far.

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"People were telling them that they were losing custody of their kids, they couldn't get housing, they were being dishonorably discharged from the military", said Farris Haddad, their attorney (and a Juggalo since he was 12). But the organizers of the march and rally say this isn't about partying, it's about the Juggalo family and clearing their name of any bad connotations. But as lawyers pointed out, this doesn't apply to every person who claims he or she is a Juggalo. In 2014, the group joined with the ACLU to sue the FBI, but their case was dismissed by a federal judge, then tossed out of court again past year - though the ACLU is planning another appeal. And they said the Juggalo activists should be so proud that they should perform sex acts on the "governmently-fine" lawn. They say Juggalos are a family of outcasts, not a gang. Earlier this year, a Wisconsin man was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for using a machete to cut off a woman's pinky finger and drinking her blood. "MOAR will send a message to the world that the voices of mainstream Americans must be heard". Many not associated with gangs said they have been stopped by police while wearing band-related shirts or other gear. The rally's organizers wrote on their website that Confederate flags and racism would not be allowed, clearly hoping to distinguish their event from the march of white supremacists that turned deadly last month in Charlottesville, Va.

A handful of Republican candidates also made their way to the stage, rallying the crowd with their Trump-style political pitches. "We condemn racists of all colors and supremacy of all colors".

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