The Juggalo march on Washington D.C. was held on September 16, 2017. You probably knew that even if you didn’t go, because every website you can think of was talking about it for weeks ahead of time. Unfortunately, a lot of the media is obsessed with Donald fucking Trump, so some of them tried to force him into the story any way that they could. They ignored the fact that the date for our march was set well over a year ago (way before Trump even won the election), and instead focused on how a handful of Trump supporters decided to hold their own rally in D.C. on the same day.
On one hand, it was great that they were talking about the march. On the other hand, they morphed the story to fit whatever agenda they were pushing. Depending on what website you read, the Juggalos were either gathering to protest Trump, or gathering to join the Trump supporters. Juggalos knew that both versions were bullshit. Several media outlets did have the story right and did their journalistic duty to report it accurately: that the Juggalos were coming together as a direct result of being placed on the 2011 “Gang Threat Assessment” list, causing serious bones for some Juggalos all over the country. But whatever their intentions were, there was one question that nobody could answer until it was over: would the march work?
Before I got to the march, I had no idea what to expect. 50 Juggalos? 500 Juggalos? Psychopathic Records has never put on an event like this, so there was no way of truly knowing. Hell, many ninjas use up all their spare travel money just to get to the Gathering. Washington D.C. isn’t exactly centrally located; a lot of Juggalos would need to buy a plane ticket. But the closer I got to the Lincoln Memorial (the designated starting point of the march), the more Juggalos were flocking by the dozens.
The festivities were scheduled to go from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. (with the march starting at 4), and before 1:30 it was obvious that there were already well over 1,000 Juggalos in attendance. From the foot of the Lincoln Memorial steps all the way down the length of the Reflecting Pool, we were in effect. Signs, costumes, painted faces; it looked just like any other Juggalo event you’ve ever been to.
This was Juggalos at our best. No littering, no graffiti, no drunkenness, no nudity, no craziness; this was everything the Juggalo family could be. Drunkenness and nudity and craziness are great 364 days of the year, but on that day we knew we couldn’t afford any distractions. We couldn’t give the haters what they wanted.
The speeches were amazing, the performances were amazing, and the march itself, of course, was amazing. We were over 3,000 ninjas deep by now, and people who had never seen a Juggalo in their life looked on from the streets in bewilderment. Reporters and photographers of all sorts wanted to talk with Juggalos first hand and really understand what Juggalos are about. It was working.
As I see it, the Juggalo march on Washington meant to serve two distinct purposes: #1, tell the world that we aren’t cool with being called a gang. We don’t think it’s cute or funny or fresh; we wanted to give everyone involved in that decision a big “Fuck you.” #2, tell those who hadn’t heard our story what has really been going on these past six years. It’s easy to laugh at the march—or call it a publicity stunt for a band—if you haven’t heard the stories. Without the facts, of course it looks like a big joke. But with every Juggalo in attendance getting the word out to anyone who would listen, we were finally screaming loudly enough.
By the time ICP took the stage that night, it was clear that we did it our way. Even the flying Faygo bottles took on a strange symbolism. We were there to do us, and weren’t about to change SHIT just to fit in. The setlist was pure Juggalo flavor; this wasn’t some watered down bullcrap, this was “Fuck The World,” “Boogie Woogie Wu,” and “Murder Rap”. This was mosh pits, Faygo breaks, and tearing up the farmer dummy during “Chicken Huntin’”. This was zombies on stage, family chants, and stage diving. This was official ICP.
Over the next several days following the march, once again, every website you can think of had something to say. Only this time, nobody fucking talked about Donald Trump. The Juggalos were so powerful that all that noise got shut the fuck down. People heard the message. That’s all we were trying to do. The purpose of the march wasn’t to get the FBI to retract the gang label; that’s what the lawsuit is for. But now they know that even if the lawsuit fails, we aren’t going away. To that end, the march was a huge success. It worked.