Published Aug 10, 2012Insane Clown Posse's Faygo-pounding fanbase of juggalos are countless at this point, with thousands flocking to their annual Gathering festival and pockets of devotees spread across the globe. You could label the band and its followers as a family, but the FBI preferred to classify them as a gang back in 2011. ICP are now fighting that claim and are looking into taking legal action against the U.S. agency to have juggalos removed from the National Gang Threat Assessment List.
A recent press conference at the Gathering had band member Violent J (aka Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (aka Joseph Utsler) admitting that the group may take legal action against the FBI for slandering Insane Clown Posse and their fanbase.
"We're not attacking the FBI, but they got this wrong," said Violent J via a press release. "The juggalos are not a gang, and that needs to be fixed."
Shaggy 2 Dope added, "It's been almost a year since Juggalos were put on the National Gang Threat Assessment and we are hearing too many stories from our fans about the trouble it's causing them. Just because you like a music group, doesn't make you a criminal."
Today (August 10), the group's Pyschopathic Records launched a new campaign titled "Juggalos Fight Back" that aims to aid any juggalo or juggalette who has been harassed by the law for being identified and profiled as an ICP fan/criminal, with the group's lawyers looking into each case pro bono.
"If you or someone you know have suffered any negative consequence with a governmental representative, including law enforcement, border patrol, airline security, or other local, state or federal governmental agency or employee as a result of your status as a juggalo, we want to know about it," the statement reads. "We want to show our appreciation and support for our fans and we are prepared to assist you in learning about your legal rights and to fight for you in court, if possible."
Currently only California, Pennsylvania, Utah and Arizona officially list juggalos as a gang, but 21 states have named them as a criminal organization on par with infamous gangs like the Crips and Bloods. While the report characterized juggalos as relatively disorganized, it also warns that "a small number of juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales." It also notes that the gang is spreading via social networking.
As for the lawsuit, Violent J explained that they're filing it to protect not only their fans, but the peripheral employees of Psychopathic Records whose lives revolve around the band and the label.
"This lawsuit isn't just for the fans. It's also for the good people who work at Psychopathic Records. There are 30 employees. Some of these people started off when we were 18 years old, but now some of them have been working here for 20 years. That's their career now. They have kids, and wives, and husbands. Next thing you know, they're working for a gang."
This year's Gathering started up August 8 in Cave-in-Rock, IL, and runs through to this Sunday (August 12).