More than 1,000 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”.
Violent J, a member of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, yells on stage before speaking to Juggalos. (AP: Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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.
The rap group and its fans claim to be a non-violent community subject to largely class-based discrimination by law enforcement.
Fans of Insane Clown Posse are known for wearing black and white clown-type face-paint to demonstrate their allegiance. (AP: Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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 held signs reading “music is not a crime” and “Juggalo family”. (AP: Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
The protesters listened to a series of speakers and musicians amid clouds of marijuana smoke.
The ACLU and Insane Clown Posse said that the gang classification has had negative consequences for Juggalos and other fans of the band. (Reuters: James Lawler Duggan)
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 1 million supporters to the US Capital.
It was far outnumbered by the Insane Clown Posse supporters.
Supporters at the rally said the election of Donald Trump had offered them some hope for their case. (Reuters: Joshua Roberts)