This. Is. Awesome:
Nine months into the administration of President Donald Trump, fans of the eccentric Detroit rap duo Insane Clown Posse assembled a larger rally on the national mall this Saturday than the president’s diehard supporters stationed a few hundred yards away.
The dueling rallies reflected the difficulty that any sitting president has in mobilizing his base, and the particular challenge that Trump has as he struggles to pass major legislation and honor his campaign promises.
Unlike the pro-Trump rally, Juggalos, as clown-makeup-wearing Insane Clown Posse fans call themselves, protested on the National Mall on Saturday for an actual specific purpose. That could explain why the gathering that surrounded the base of the reflection pool at the Lincoln Memorial this afternoon was significantly larger than the pro-Trump rally.
Why were Juggalos gathering on the mall? This is why:
In 2011, the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center designated Juggalos, who say they are simply fans of a band, as a “loosely organized hybrid gang,” saying a subset of the group is involved in criminal activity. The agency sent out briefing materials to all law enforcement offices around the country listing Juggalos as a gang alongside Crips, Bloods and MS-13. They pointed out particular signs to look for to see if a person was a Juggalo, like the “hatchet man” symbol of the Insane Clown Posse.
The result was that people who counted themselves fans of Insane Clown Posse have been fired from their jobs, lost children in custody battles and were targeted and harassed by police.
Further east on the mall, closer to the U.S. Capitol building, pro-Trump activists had convened the “Mother of All Rallies,” to “help send a message to Congress, the media and the world: we stand united to defend American culture and values.”
As it turned out, the self-described “Woodstock of American rallies,” drew just a few hundred people, leaving much of the enclosed grass area allotted to the group empty for the duration of the afternoon. The lineup of speakers consisted mainly of D-list conservative leaders like Marco Gutierrez, the founder of Latinos for Trump, who famously warned that if the country did not curb immigration there would be “taco trucks on every corner.” No Republican members of Congress or elected officials of any major office were there.
How big a fail was the Trump rally? Wellllllll:
On Facebook, organisers said they hoped to rally one million people to DC in support of their cause. Washington Metropolitan police said they expected 1,800 people.
There’s a reason righteous groups like Democratic Socialists of America have endorsed the Juggalo March:
“DC DSA is committed to addressing state repression wherever it occurs, and this means offering solidarity and support to groups on the front lines,” the statement continues. “We will be offering cold Faygo and snacks to Juggalos marching next weekend, and will provide information on socialism to whomever wants it.
“More importantly, we will be showing that socialists will not stand by as the state targets marginalized people. Solidarity forever.”
We’ll let twitter have the last words:
“Hey, look at the ridiculous looking clown in that goofy outfit.”
— Juggalo, after seeing a Trump supporter wearing MAGA apparel
— Erik Bransteen (@erikbransteen) September 16, 2017
ARE YOU THE JUGGALO?! pic.twitter.com/22R0RHyKZN
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) September 16, 2017
“I never thought I’d die side by side with a juggalo”
“how about side by side…with a comrade” https://t.co/HxD0OVKnMi
— Goth Ms. Frizzle (@spookperson) September 16, 2017
Juggalo speaker warns Justin Bieber fans that they could be next. Juggalos chant: “Bie-ber! Bie-ber!” This is amazing
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 16, 2017
Clowns are gathering, Faygo is passed around, chants of “Family! Family!” fill the air as tourists look on. Juggalo March time. pic.twitter.com/5gfamsvSVV
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) September 16, 2017
The Democratic Socialists of America are here handing out Juggalo-friendly snacks pic.twitter.com/h2kap5gkuB
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 16, 2017
— The Hill (@thehill) September 16, 2017
(Thanks go to Brett Davis, for the photo featured on this page under Creative Commons license.)