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I've heard of this group, but never listened to them. However, this is very, very interesting and reminds me of the flack with NWA and the letter from the FBI about their record "F*ck tha Police". I'm curious as if their fans were labeled as gang related as well.

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.c...osse-sues-fbi-669350

Insane Clown Posse Sues FBI for Labeling Fans as a 'Hybrid Gang'

 

Insane Clown Posse Press Conference - H 2013

AP Images
Insane Clown Posse

ICP members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, along with four Juggalos, claim their constitutional rights of free expression and association and due process have been violated.

This story first appeared on Billboard.com.

Insane Clown Posse is going to war -- legally -- against U.S. government agencies that have designated its fans, the Juggalos, as "a loosely affiliated hybrid gang."

 

A lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the U.S. Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of ICP members Violent J (Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joey Utsler) and four Juggalos claiming that their constitutional rights of free expression and association and due process have been violated due to the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations applying the gang designation in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. The lawsuit charges that the designation is wrong and without merit and should be removed.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is representing the Juggalos while the Detroit law firm Hertz Schram P.C. is representing ICP in the case.

"When the [gang] label first came out, I laughed at it. I had no idea how much it would effect us," Violent J said during a press conference Wednesday at the ACLU office in Detroit. "Now it's like a growing disease. It's affecting everything ICP does. We're going to fight this to the death, 'cause it's not true. It's stupid. It's ridiculous."

Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope acknowledged that merchandise sales have dropped considerably since 2011, as has attendance at concerts -- including the group's annual Gathering of the Juggalos summer festival, which lost more than $700,000 this year and will be relocated from Cave-In-Rock, Ill., where it's been held since 2007, to what Violent J said would be a "smaller" venue for 2014. Retail chains have also stopped carrying ICP music and merchandise, he added.

"We're not a gang," Shaggy 2 Dope said. "We're a family -- a diverse group of men and women united by our love of music, and nothing more. We're not a threat, a public menace or a danger to society … and it's time the FBI recognizes that. We will prevail in this fight to clear the Juggalo family name, because not to would be bullshit."

Brandon Bradley from California, one of the four Juggalo plaintiffs in the suit, told the press conference that he had been stopped and harassed by police on multiple occasions because of his Juggalo attire and tattoos. "I never imagined being in a situation where I could be listed as a violent gang member just because of my T-shirt," Bradley said. "The idea that my photo is in a police database marking me as a gang member is scary."

 

Hertz Schram filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in September of 2011, and attorney Howard Hertz said that the firm received 102 pages of documents from the FBI, "mainly newspaper articles" about the band and the Juggalos. Hertz said another FOIA request filed by MuckRock uncovered "inconsistent and conflicting documents from the FBI … emphasizing to me a lack of transparency with respect to this issue."

Saura J. Sahu, the ACLU's cooperating attorney from the firm of Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone, added that "this (gang) designation is having real impact on real Juggalo music fans across the country," adding that another of the plaintiffs, Scott Gandy, was told he couldn't enlist in the U.S. Army because of his Juggalo tattoo. Sahu and said he's confident ICP and the Juggalos will win the suit.

"The basic point … is really clear, to overturn this excessive and overbroad gang designation," Sahu explained. "We want the Justice Department to stop the harassment of these folks who have been suffering for over two years now … people who had nothing to do with any criminal gang and are simply exercising their First Amendment right to identify themselves as Juggalos. We're hoping we will win back their right to be left alone."

 

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I read this on the Gardian a few hours ago and debated posting it here for the same reasons.  Being a Hip Hopper, I've heard of them going back to the late 90's although they're not really seen as a Hip Hop group although they are 'rappers'. 

 

ICP is to Hip Hop what KISS is to Funk.

 

The core issue touches on the perception of groups and how the surveillance state agency's use that perception for its own ends.  If Im not mistaken Hell's Angels fought a similar battle.

 

Hip Hop fans and groups have been targeted and labelled in the same way for years.  From N.W.A. to Wu-Tang Clan.

 

The case of Wu-Tang is interesting because you get into the (incorrect) perception of the 5% Nation (or Nation of Gods and Earths) as a gang. 

 

What is a gang and who determines if one is a "gang member"?

 

consider for a moment Webster's entry (pay attention to the synonyms) :

http://www.merriam-webster.com...w=0&t=1389274918

 

Language, perception and framing can be subtle or overt.  The take away lesson from the ICP lawsuit is that we need to learn to call BS on it and not feed into it.

 

 

This is the first time that I've ever heard any music group suing the government over identifying their fans as gangs. In relation to the term homeboy/homegirl being defined as a term used by gangs, I suspect that this is a direct influence of corporate or government agencies. The term homeboy and homegirl was by and largely used by African-Americans who left the south during the Great Migration to identify people from their hometowns or locales. In later years, the term was used to define a person who you knew from around the way or were cool with. This other business is nonsense.

Originally Posted by Yemaya:

One more thing, at least these guys have the backbone and money to stand up for their fans. I wonder if some of our Black musicians or artists would ever do this?

My point exactly!

From an article written in 2003

 

The problem is that for a variety of reasons activists, journalists, artists and executives can’t seem to accept the premise that what is happening is a continuation of COINTELPRO and not profiling or harassment.

 

 

The War on Street Gangs has been merged with a War On Drugs which has been merged with a War On Terrorism which will intensify with the war in Iraq. In all of this Hip-Hop will be framed as a primary force of sedition in America.

 

http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2...at-war-with-hip-hop/

 Hip Hopper's talk about this stuff, sadly not too many listen.

Last edited by Muhammad Cipher

We have to also remember that the USA Patriot ACT is in full effect and has changed some laws regarding what state and federal agencies can do in terms of profiling. On a sidenote, there have been a small number of these fans who have organized and committed crimes. I couldn't find the article I read from my FB newsfeed.

Juggalo

These Juggalo (Giggolo?)  guys have a kind of theater of violence but do not act it out. I’ve met some young white semi-thug okay enough ICP guys who are way into it. They emotionally identify with it. They wear the crazy clown makeup. I can’t figure it out but it maybe stops people from acting out and gives them a group ID, a meaning. it should be left alone as  creative expression despite the freakazoid Juggalo icon. 

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