The big news out of the Gathering of the Juggalos is that the Insane Clown Posse is going to sue the F.B.I. I am sure people read some Tweets or saw a headline and laughed and went on with their day, but the truth is this is some weirdly serious shit. The F.B.I. added juggalos to their gang watch list. When I read about that before I kept thinking how stupid that shit was, but in reality it has had some serious impact on peoples lives. Make fun of juggalos all you want but they are fucking people with families and jobs and they are being fucked with on levels I could never imagine.

ICP had a big seminar where they announced the news. They told everyone about new shows they are doing and a couple of documentaries and all the fun stuff going on with ICP. And then at the end they started talking about how the F.B.I. is fucking up their business and their fans. Being on this watch list means ICP shows are gang activities. If they can find a venue to host one of their shows they have to pay extra insurance on it. Their merch is considered gang gear and can be confiscated. Many stores like Hot Topic have stopped selling their stuff. But on a serious, human rights violation, fascist level peoples lives are being fucked with. People are showing up at their parole officers with a little hatchet necklace on and having their paroles violated. Juggalos are getting pulled over 2-3 times a week for having ICP stickers on their car. Soldiers are being dishonorably discharged for having ICP CDs. ICP decided the only way to fight the law was to use the law and they announced they are suing the F.B.I.

After the announcement the seminar tent was electric. People stood up and cheered. It was honestly touching. I felt like I was in the middle of a movie where someone makes this big speech that changes the course of a war or something. It was sort of amazing. ICP introduced one of their lawyers, Farris Haddad, who was actually a juggalo growing up. And he set up a trailer where any juggalos could come tell him their stories. I became friends with Farris over the next few days and he told me some amazing and sad stories about things happening to these people.

After the announcement I went over to Farris’ trailer and talked to some of the juggalos waiting outside. I heard a story of someone who got sent to prison because they had violated their parole by associating with gang members by friending a juggalo on Facebook. I talked to a guy who had been fired from his job in private security for coming to the Gathering. I talked to people who had lost custody of their kids over this and people who had been arrested and had their tattoos documented and added to gang lists. My friend Kev Buc who came to the Gathering with me told me that he was pulled over once for something little and they photographed all his tattoos and added him to some gang list because he has a Twiztid tattoo. Kev is not some redneck drug dealer or something. He runs Mishka’s NYC flagship store and blogs. I assure you he is not a gangster.

Long story short this juggalos as a gang thing is bullshit. They are just kids who like a band. A lot of these people sell drugs and probably do some dumb shit and end up getting arrested, but that’s just cause the music is popular with poor uneducated kids, but this shit is clearly not organized and them committing crimes has nothing to do with ICP. So I really hope ICP wins and gets juggalos off the F.B.I. gang list.

If you have been fucked with by the cops because you are a juggalo go to juggalosfightback.com. If you want to know more better written, better researched info about all of this read my juggalo anthropology partner in crime Camile Dodero’s interview with ICP on the Village Voice.

I also posted the video of the announcement below the photos. I am in it a lot. At one point you can see me picking my nose which is not a good look but in my defense that place is super dusty and all my boogers looked like rocks.

Now click here to see all my pictures from the Insane Clown Posse’s announcement that they are going to sue the F.B.I.

ICP Suing The FBI

ICP Suing The FBI

ICP Suing The FBI

ICP Suing The FBI

ICP Suing The FBI

The Gathering of the Juggalos is a yearly music festival in Cave In Rock, IL created by the Insane Clown Posse that I have now photographed three times. Every year it produces some of the best photos I have ever taken. To see my complete GOTJ archives please click here.

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