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Insane Clown Posse (ICP) is a novelty Hip Hop band that has had uncommon longevity and success, selling over 8 million albums since the early 1990s and having tens of thousands of fans who call themselves Juggalos. They are anti-discrimination and have strong bonds among themselves, referring to each other as “family”. Their sometimes uncouth language and clownface make-up may be off-putting to some but they form a support group for each other, many coming from dysfunctional lower-income homes and communities. They embrace their status as social outcasts while they embrace each other.

Juggalos have been widely mocked for decades, but it became quite another thing when in 2011, the FBI’s National Gang Threat Assessment report labeled Juggalos a “loosely organized hybrid gang,” a designation that the band and 4 fans have been fighting legally since 2014. Earlier this month, ICP and the Juggalos held a rally at the National Mall in Washington DC, in protest of the FBI classification. It coincided with the large pro-Trump “Mother of All Rallies” (MOAR) and did not result in any of the much-anticipated violence and when you see these people, you can understand why.

On their website, ICP celebrated the success of their event, saying that “As a direct result of the Juggalo Family coming together as one unstoppable force, the media erupted into a frenzy…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 US 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.”

ICP is due back in Federal Court on October 11, 2017.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

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