The Juggalos, not to be confused with jiggalos, are marched in D.C. on Saturday! What is a Juggalo? For those of you asking that question, they are fans of hip-hop group the Insane Clown Posse (ICP). They wear clown makeup and and love to act outrageous.
So why are they marching? To clear their name of course! They were classified by the FBI as a gang.
But music and (law-abiding) mayhem aren’t the only matters on the agenda for the “Juggalo March.” Instead, the Juggalos are coming to clear their name.
In 2011, the FBI classified Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” in its National Gang Threat Assessment (NGTA), and fans said their community hasn’t been the same since.
“We’re marching on Washington to wake the world up to what’s going on,” said Jason Webber, director of public relations for Psychopathic Records, ICP’s record label.
He continued, “On paper, it sounds just plain ridiculous that a group of men and women who like a particular kind of music are being considered gang members, but it’s no laughing matter when you realize how many people’s lives are being destroyed by this gang designation.”
The march’s website includes personal tales of fans being fired from their jobs, stopped and detained by police and losing custody battles for being Juggalos, wearing band merchandise or having the band’s trademark “hatchet man” tattoo, a silhouette of a man wielding an axe.
ICP, which formed in 1991, is known for its clown makeup and expletive-laden lyrics in songs that Webber said are all part of a running story called “The Dark Carnival.”
Webber claims the story’s underlying message is about being a good person. The expletives, misogyny and violence in songs like “I Shot a Hater” are just “tongue in cheek,” Webber says.
“Yes, it’s politically incorrect, but it’s just in good fun,” he said.
But the NGTA report claims that Juggalos are “rapidly expanding into many U.S. communities.”
“Although recognized as a gang in only four states [Arizona, California, Pennsylvania and Utah] many Juggalo subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence,” the report said, citing reporting from the National Gang Intelligence Center.
“Law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo sub-sets.”
But ICP fans say that, unlike gang members, they are bonded by music instead of crime. They say they shouldn’t be grouped together as criminals because of a few bad actors.