The National Park Service staff in Washington, D.C., is bracing for a busy day Sept. 16. That’s when supporters of President Trump will be sharing space on the National Mall with fans of the hip hop act Insane Clown Posse.
The Trump supporters plan to hold what they’re calling the “Mother of All Rallies,” while the music fans – known as Juggalos – plan a “Juggalo March on Washington” in response to the FBI labeling them a “loosely organized hybrid gang.”
“This is the day that we are asking every single Juggalo to join us in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to make a collective statement from the Juggalo Family to the world about what we are and what we are not,” reads the website for the Juggalos’ event.
The fans gained the “gang” designation following multiple arrests at a concert in Utah. An FBI agent’s memo listing the crimes of the Juggalos included “drug sales, drug possession, child endangerment, as well [as] many other crimes typically seen by gangs and gang members,” the Washington Post reported.
One “Juggalo” told Reason magazine that he “didn't have a problem with this country,” but “then all of sudden, they technically made it illegal to be a Juggalo.”
Jason Webber, organizer of the Juggalo march, said his group isn’t planning to interact with the Republicans, the Washington Post reported.
“We are all there to get the point across that we are speaking out against this foolish notion that Juggalos are a gang,” he said. “We plan on staying within our march route and we could really not give a damn what the other groups on the National Mall are doing that day. As Patrick Swayze said in ‘Dirty Dancing,’ ‘This is my dance space. This is your dance space.’”
‘Mother of all rallies’
As for the pro-Trump rally, its website says the event is aimed at showing support for the president and celebrating the country.
The event is being designed as a day of unity, and will be open to everyone of any political persuasion.
“The only flag that unifies us all is the American red, white and blue flag,” the website reads, adding, “No Confederate flags allowed.”
"The only flag that unifies us all is the American red, white and blue flag."
Speakers are scheduled to include Omar Navarro, a Republican who’s challenging Democratic incumbent Maxine Waters in California’s 43rd Congressional District, and “Latinos for Trump” founder Marco Guiterrez.
Prepared to ensure safety
Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst said the agency is prepared to ensure public safety despite multiple events on the same day – a liberal march and a wedding are also planned -- and to protect free-speech rights on the federal property.
”Dealing with a lot of events is, fortunately, an area that D.C. has more experience in dealing with than many other areas,” he told the Post.
Anna Rose, a police agency spokeswoman, told the Post that police are “consistently analyz[ing] information to detect and deter threats to public safety,” adding that police officers make “no distinction regarding a group’s message or political standpoint.”
“Our intent is to protect our treasured icons and the people who visit them.”