Insane Clown Posse and the Juggalos Versus the FBI

September 26th, 2012

Rebel(s) of the Week

After Homeland Security documents were discovered classifying supporters of third party candidates, Second Amendment activists, and military veterans as domestic terrorists, the FBI seems to have joined in on the profiling. In the past, the organization focused its law enforcement resources on monitoring known violent gangs such as the Crips and Bloods. However, in an era when the FBI and ATF team up with the Sinaloa drug cartel to provide assault weapons for gang members to use in attacks on our own border guards, it looks like they have shifted their focus elsewhere. Instead, the arguably unconstitutional Federal Bureau of Investigation appears to be investing limited law enforcement resources on an effort to monitor the rap group Insane Clown Posse and members of their fan club, known as juggalos.

The issue first arose when a juggalo named Mark Anthony Carlson was placed on the New Mexico Most Wanted list. The US Marshal’s Service’s press release described Carlson’s juggalo affiliation as follows, “Carlson is a member of the Insane Clown Posse ‘Juggalo’ gang. The ‘Juggalos’ were recently classified as a gang by the Albuquerque Police Department Gang unit.” When Insane Clown Posse discovered its fan club was now categorized, seriously, by grown-up police officers, as a criminal gang, they vowed to pursue every legal means possible to undo this categorization. Today, those means necessary took the form of a lawsuit against the FBI for including them in a 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report.

Killer Clowns or People Having Fun?

As a member of the punk rock community with 11 full-US tours under my belt, I have spent countless hours in the company of juggalos in almost every state. They are like members of nearly any other lifestyle subculture in the musical underground — full of wayward kids banding together for a sense of community. For juggalos, the community, adorned in clown makeup, is built around a theater of the absurd. Surprisingly to many, ICP and most of their fans are actually evangelical Christians, as their song Thy Unveiling details.

Juggalos are some of the friendliest and happiest members of the underground community. Never do gangs of juggalos come to local punk clubs and beat up other kids, something that can’t always be said about straightedge crews and other punk subcultures. The worst act of juggalo violence I’ve ever witnessed was when a group of them sprayed Faygo on a professional wrestler at the fairgrounds. Exactly why the FBI finds this a threat, no one knows.

The Juggalos Fight Back

Insane Clown Posse has officially filed suit against the FBI, alleging that they are being profiled as a gang without any documentation to back up the claim. They first announced their intention to do this at the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos, launching a website called JuggalosFightBack. ICP fears that fans will be victims of profiling, arrested at disproportionate levels for little things like marijuana possession. Gang affiliation can take a simple arrest for something minor and turn it into a maximum sentence affair. In fact, recent controversial officer-involved shootings in Anaheim were justified based on gang affiliation. It’s a serious matter.

For standing up for their fan club and their own rights, Insane Clown Posse wins this week’s Rebel of the Week award.


About the Author: Barry Donegan

Barry Donegan is a singer for the experimental mathcore band Look What I Did, a writer, a self-described "veteran lifer in the counterculture", a political activist/consultant, and a believer in the non-aggression principle.