News World Clowns march on Washington to protest FBI ‘gang’ classification

Clowns march on Washington to protest FBI ‘gang’ classification

Theresa Lindsey, dressed as Snow White, and Timothy Schlarmann, as Uncle Sam, join other juggalos in Washington. Photo: AP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

More than 1000 fans of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse have rallied in Washington to protest against the FBI’s classification of them as a gang.

The band’s fans, known as Juggalos, gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial, some carrying signs that said “Music is not a Crime”.

A 2011 report by the Justice Department’s Gang Task Force placed the Juggalos, who favour extensive tattoos and outlandish face paint, in the same classification as overtly violent US gangs such as the Bloods and the Crips.

Violent J
Violent J, a member of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, yells on stage before speaking to Juggalos. Photo: AP

The rap group and its fans claim to be a non-violent community subject to largely class-based discrimination by law enforcement.

The band, along with the ACLU, sued the FBI in 2014 seeking to change the classification but with little success so far.

The rap duo has developed an intensely devoted fan base over the course of a 25-year career.

Protesters walk Washington streets
Fans of Insane Clown Posse are known for wearing black and white clown-type face-paint to demonstrate their allegiance. Photo: AP

The protesters listened to a series of speakers and musicians amid clouds of marijuana smoke.

They chanted “family” and an obscenity about the FBI.

On the opposite side of the reflection pool, a pro-Trump rally was underway, but drew a much smaller crowd than anticipated.

It was billed as “the mother of all rallies” and sought to bring one million supporters to the US Capital.

It was far outnumbered by the Insane Clown Posse supporters.

Protesters hold music is not a crime sign
Protesters held signs reading “music is not a crime” and “Juggalo family”. Photo: AP