A mile and a world apart, Juggalos and Trump fans descend on Washington

Hundreds of fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse came to protest the FBI labeling them a gang – while on the other side of the Reflecting Pool, turnout was lower than expected at a rally to support the president

The genteel air of Washington DC’s national mall was disturbed by people in face paint and people keen to attain America great again on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of Juggalos- fans of the horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse– gathered to protest the FBI’s designation of them as a “gang”, while, nearby, hundreds of Donald Trump supporters gathered to cheer the president.

The Juggalo March had been planned for more than a year and depicted music fans from across the US in a bid to change the group’s reputation.

Juggalos- their name is taken from an Insane Clown Posse anthem– were described in a 2011 FBI report as a “gang”, a label they said has led to discriminationfrom police and in the workplace.

The pro-Trump crowd, meanwhile, were assembled for a rally designed to give the president a signal of their subsistence as Trump struggles through the early months of his first term.

Hundreds of Juggalos, many with their faces painted in the black and white style popularized by band members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, expended the afternoon in front of the Lincoln Memorial, at the west objective of the national mall.

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Insane Clown Posse fans were designated a “gang” in a 2011 FBI report, leading to discrimination, they said Photograph: Al Drago/ Getty Images

With Abraham Lincoln’s giant statue seeming on, Juggalos erected a stage and sound system and detonation hip-hop music as they chanted “family”, painted each others’ faces, and occasionally sprayed one another with the soft drink Faygo- a signature Insane Clown Posse move that some fans have described as a baptism.

Todd Okan, 35, said he was pulled over by police in Sacramento, California, because he had stickers of Insane Clown Posse’s “hatchet man” mascot on his automobile.

” They said these emblems are considered a gang emblem ,” Okan said.” They were asking me, like:’ Are you a leader of this gang ?'”

Okan, an accounting auditor, said he was not in a gang.

” I was like:’ This is the music I listen to ‘.”

A mile to the east, on the other side of the looming Washington Monument, the pro-Trump” mom of all rallies” was taking place.

The crowd for Donald Trump’s inauguration rite, held on the mall in January, was famously less than that for his predecessor- despite the president’s insisting otherwise- and the attendance at this rally was also smaller than expected.

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A pro-Trump gathering was billed as the” mom of all rallies” but only about 400 people demonstrated up
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

Organizers had promised that “thousands” of Trump advocates would be at the rally, but instead there were only around 400 enthusiasts. Given the events in Charlottesville in August, when a right-wing demonstration ended in the death of anti-racism activist Heather Heyer, there had been concern about the nature of the rally, but on Saturday afternoon all seemed calm.

The crowd gathered in a space the size of a football field on the lush grass of the mall, where they listened to sporadic pledges of allegiance and country music.

The supporters milled around amiably, some picnicking on the grass, others holding American flags aloft.

Tahnee Gonzalez, 31, was carrying a cloth banner that depicted Trump, holding an assault rifle, standing ontop of a tank which was firing its own weaponry. There was also an eagle on it.

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Trump fans gathered to support the president as he fights through the early months of his term Photograph: Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

Gonzalez had travelled from Phoenix, Arizona to attend the rally. She said she decided to come to” present the fake news that there is support for our chairman “.

” It’s America first now. We can no longer support any other country until ours is totally united and strong again ,” she said.” I want my fellow millennials to know they need to rise up before it’s too late .”

There was little similarity between the Juggalo and Trump events- although facepainting was also available at the” mom of all rallies”- and with the distance of the Reflecting Pool between them, there seemed little chance of any crossover.

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