This Saturday, September 16th, a community of fans of the musical group Insane Clown Posse (known as Juggalos or the Juggalo Family) will be holding a Juggalo March on Washington D.C. to protest their community's designation as a “gang” by the FBI.
This designation is not atypical - using police and state repression to disrupt working class communities is a trademark strategy of the American government. Insane Clown Posse has been engaged in a long-running lawsuit against the FBI to remove the designation, but with no success. According to the Washington Post, "The move touched off one of the strangest controversies at the crossroads of pop culture, criminal justice and the First Amendment in contemporary America. ICP and the Juggalos were outraged, saying the FBI effectively criminalized being a fan of a musical group. It had far-reaching and severe consequences. Juggalos not associated with gangs have reported being repeatedly stopped by police, added to gang databases, blocked from the military, placed on stricter forms of probation, suspended from school and fired from jobs. Those problems sparked a campaign by ICP and the Juggalos to get the FBI to publicly repudiate the gang label. They say their right to free speech, right to assemble and the good ol’ American right to rawk are being violated.Their fight has drawn in the American Civil Liberties Union and spurred a federal lawsuit. And the effort moves into a bigger spotlight on Sept. 16 with easily the most unusual protest to hit the nation’s capital in a year full of them: In a rally being organized by ICP, the group’s fans will descend on the Mall for a Juggalo March on Washington."
The Juggalo Family consists mostly of poor and working folks who see themselves as outsiders, and their affinity with each other is a source of mutual aid to survive. Under the FBI designation, Juggalos report that they are being denied jobs, having custody of their children threatened, and being denied access to state resources. As Violent J put it, "But as ICP has discovered over the last decade, there’s a whole army of scary, terrifying and dangerous clowns out there in this country trying to suppress the rights of thousands of people to exercise the most basic part of the Declaration of Independence, which evokes the freedom to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The only difference is these clowns don’t wear greasepaint.These clowns threaten the very fabric on which our nation was supposedly founded upon—and for some f---ing crazy-a-- reason, they’re getting away with it. From keystone-cop clowns shooting unarmed citizens, to racist clowns burning down Islamic centers or clowns in the NSA spying on us through our cell phones and laptops, America has turned into something far more terrifying than Insane Clown Posse's Dark Carnival. Even a scrub like me who dropped out of school in ninth grade can see what’s going on. Today’s reality is scarier than anything you’ll ever hear on one of our albums."
Redneck Revolt stands solidly in solidarity with the Juggalo March. Their resistance aligns with our strongly held belief in the right to community self-determination and self-defense, as well as our opposition to the ongoing criminalization of the working class by a government that only serves the upper class. We recognize their resistance in the streets as one tactic that working folks have used in their fight for liberation from state repression. Further, we recognize the commitment of many Juggalos and Juggalettes to anti-racist and anti-fascist principles, and see this mobilization as a logical development of Family values in response to current political and social conditions and the state-led repression that has been laid increasingly bare in recent years.