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 official "Juggalo March" website describes personal and professional hardships faced by fans over the gang description, including the loss of employment and denial of admittance into the armed forces.
In 2011, the National Gang Intelligence Center said the group was a "hybrid-gang" that was expanding. "The FBI can not initiate an investigation based on an individual's exercise of their First Amendment rights". The group shared the Mall with the so-called Mother of All Rallies, a group of Trump supporters, who drew far fewer marchers than ICP, as well as a couple of weddings.
In 2014, ICP and their record label, with the help of a civil liberties organization, brought a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, demanding they renounce the gang classification. "I guarantee you", said Jeffery Carroll, assistant chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Violent J of Insane Clown Posse speaks with (L) Shaggy 2 Dope before the Juggalo March takes off from the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, on September 16, 2017 in Washington, DC.
The band's followers, called Juggalos, rallied in front of the Lincoln Memorial in a show of strength and unity. "There has never been-and will never be-a music fan base quite like Juggalos, and while it is easy to fear what one does not understand, discrimination and bigotry against any group of people is just plain wrong and un-American". Members of this subculture, who look to each other for support and a sense of belonging, watched speeches - peppered by the signature Juggalo cry of "whoop whoop" - and performances before marching near the Lincoln Memorial. Maybe it is the Juggalos' last chance to show that it is how they say.More news: Colts Game Recap: Week 2 vs. Cardinals
Jason Webber, a publicist for ICP and an organizer for the event, told NBC he expects about 3,000 people to attend the rally.
The "Mother of All Rallies" moniker appears to be a reference to the Massive Ordinance Air Blast (more commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs), which was dropped earlier this year on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan. One had to do with a violent home invasion, where a Juggalo was suspected and later convicted; and there was another violent crime associated in 2012.
"No Confederate flags, communist flags, or foreign flags allowed".
But the momentary tension was defused when a Trump rally organizer invited them onstage and offered one of them a microphone.
Meanwhile, the MOAR's website lists white supremacist groups like Alt-Knights and the Proud Boys as affiliates while claiming "all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age or political affiliation are invited". "Our patriots are of all colors and we are uniting under our constitutional rights".