Thousands of Juggalos rally against gang branding in Washington D.C.

 nydailynews.com  9/17/2017 3:08:43 AM  2

Send in the clowns.

Washington is a circus most days, but on Saturday, the nation’s capital had an exceptionally carnival-like atmosphere.

Thousands of protesters — including a massive contingent of fans of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse and a small group of right-wing conservatives — descended on D.C. for a diverse set of demonstrations.

Portions of the National Mall were sectioned off for the different groups.

In front of the Lincoln Memorial, a swelling crowd of so-called Juggalos, super-devoted Insane Clown Posse fans, held a rally demanding the FBI rescind its classification of the group as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.”

Face paint-wearing fans lofted signs that read “Juggalo lives matter” and “Justice for Juggalos” as the scent of marijuana wafted over the crowd.

Fans of the Insane Clown Posse, more commonly known as Juggalos gather on the Washington Mall in Washington DC on Saturday September 16, 2017 to protest their label as a gang.

A 2011 report by the Justice Department’s gang task force compared the fanatic fan base to violent gangs like the Bloods and the Crips.

The report said the fans have committed assaults and vandalism, and a “small number” of them have engaged in more serious crimes.

Juggalos say they’ve been profiled, lost jobs and even the custody of their children due to the FBI’s label.

“I am not a gang member. I have never been convicted of a crime. I do not have a speeding ticket or failed a drug test,” said Crystal Guerrero, of Albuquerque, N.M. “My children were taken from me, physical custody, because I showed up to one concert.”

Guerrero, 26, told the Daily News that her sons, now 6 and 2, were taken away from her in 2015 after their father argued that listening to Insane Clown Posse made her an unsuitable mother.

Juggalos of all ages participated in Saturday's rally.
(Nick Karp for New York Daily News)

The group, which formed in Detroit nearly 25 years ago, performs wearing clown makeup and is known for its dark lyrics.

“You know in your hearts that we’re the good guys,” Violent J, half of the duo, told the crowd. “Maybe they look at us and think, ‘Man, those are the most hated people supporting the world’s most hated band and they’ll be easy to pick on.’ ”

The group, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the FBI in 2014, seeking to have the gang classification scratched.

“What kind of gang sells music instead of guns and drugs?” asked Juggalo Jake Jones.

“Those who don’t listen to (Insane Clown Posse) only hear the cusswords and violence,” said the Orlando native.

Insane Clown Posse performs wearing clown makeup and is known for its dark lyrics.
(Nick Karp for New York Daily News)

Across the National Mall, near the Washington Monument, a smattering of supporters of President Trump gathered for an event dubbed the “Mother of All Rallies.”

The demonstration, which organizers also called “Woodstock for the silent majority,” drew only about 500 people.

Many in the crowd were decked out in red, white and blue or carrying American flags.

A small group of men in militia uniforms stood by as Republican candidates supporting the President’s platform spoke to the crowd.

“As soon as they announced it, I knew I had to be here,” Dana Robinson of Pittsburgh told USA Today.

Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse at the Juggalo March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Saturday Sept. 16, 2017.
(Nick Karp for New York Daily News)

Robinson wore a patchwork dress of Trump photos.

Trump is “one of us,” she said. “He’s an everyman’s President. . . . He’s doing great with no help from any of the Republicans.”

Counterprotesters tried to confront some of the Trump supporters, but were led out of the rally by U.S. Park Police.

Earlier in the day, two dozen protesters also gathered in Lafayette Square, across Pennsylvania Ave. from the White House.

The group called on Trump to take stronger actions against Russian leader Vladimir Putin in retaliation for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.

They carried signs that said, “We’re not PUTIN up with it!” and “Protect American Democracy.”

Trump spent the weekend at his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort.

With News Wire Services

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