Speaking to their fans and media at their 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos music festival over the weekend, the Insane Clown Posse announced that they’ve retained legal counsel to investigate and pursue legal action to protect themselves and fans against persecution, following their recent “gang” classification by the FBI.
“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,” said ICP’s Shaggy 2 Dope.
ICP member, Violent J, adds, “We’re not attacking the FBI, but they got this wrong. The Juggalos are not a gang, and that needs to be fixed.”
Late last year, news surfaced that the FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment division had labeled Juggalos (the name adopted by ICP fans) as a “gang,” who can be treated in the same ways as notorious violent gangs such as Aryan Brotherhood, Bloods, Crips and the Latin Kings by law enforcement.
In their speech to the crowd, both ICP members recalled hearing stories of parolee fans who were violated and/or sent back to prison just for being fans of the group; and further, hearing about harassment all around the country aimed at their fanbase.
Both Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have hired the law firm of Hertz Schram to protect themselves and their fanbase from being stereotyped and harassed in everyday life, and plan to seek monetary compensation and/or other injunctive relief to rid Juggalos of being wrongly judged because of the music they like.
“We are seeking individual Juggalos whose rights have been violated as a result of the mistaken belief that they are a ‘gang member,’ ” ICP counsel, Howard Hertz of Hertz Schram PC, said in a statement.
The group has even launched a website dedicated to the cause at JuggalosFightBack.com.