Editors note: This article contains slight profanity
By Julia Lerner
On Saturday, Sept. 16, supporters of President Donald Trump gathered on the National Mall for the Mother of All Rallies.
What organizers intended to be the “Woodstock of American Rallies,” with over 3,000 RSVP’d attendees, speakers and musical performances, in reality, more closely resembled a typical rally.
Supporters came from all over the country to show their love for Trump and to bash his former opponent, Hillary Clinton. Throughout the day, both speakers and attendees trashed the former presidential candidate.
“I like everything about Trump,” said Lynn Scott, a Trump supporter from California. “I like the things he’s done, and the things he’s said. He’s a forceful person. The other thing about him is that I can’t stand Hillary.”
Throughout the afternoon, speakers rallied the supporters with words of love and peace, urging listeners to work together to unite both the left and the right for a better future.
“I believe in democracy and I like President Trump, but we need to come together and be one nation and we need to work towards peace,” said Lynn Tenney, a Trump supporter from Washington, D.C.
As a gesture of good faith, organizers halted their rally when Black Lives Matter protesters appeared later in the afternoon. They invited protesters to speak to the congregation regarding unity, the future and what the phrase “Black Lives Matter” truly means.
“Black lives matter doesn’t mean white lives don’t!” the speaker said, who received ardent applause from the crowd.
What made this Saturday afternoon of rallies different from most, though, were the other groups gathering near by. While political rallies are not uncommon, a less anticipated group gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
Across the National Mall from the Mother of All Rallies, chants of “Fuck this shit!” filled the air from the Gathering of the Juggalos, a group known for their clown makeup, insane (and sometimes dangerous) gatherings and, more recently, their FBI gang designation.
Fans of the band Insane Clown Posse planned their “March of the Juggalos” in response to the FBI’s recent decision to classify juggalos as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.”
“On the surface, a Juggalo is a fan of Insane Clown Posse,” said Christian Ike, who came to the march from California. “If you go a little deeper, it’s anti-discriminatory, inclusive, non biased, everyone is welcome. It’s a friendly face. It’s a place you can come when you need some help and people will give it to you. It’s bigger than the music.”
John McAndrew, 34, travelled from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to attend the rally. “Insane Clown Posse, their music, they’ve always been here for us, growing up in our lives,” McAndrew said. “The one time they ask for our help, we want to come and support them and the Juggalo family. You hear these stories today — these people are struggling and losing their families. It’s just not right.”
Throughout the afternoon, juggalos took the stage to tell of the hardships the ICP gang designation has created in their lives. Some parents lost their children — others lost their jobs.
“This is a peaceful demonstration of our rights,” said Joey, 26, from Michigan. “This is about our first amendment. This is not about juggalos. Well, it is about juggalos, but it goes way deeper than that. It’s all about our freedom of expression … The Trump supporters down the mall — we dont give a shit that they’re here. We like that they’re fighting for their rights, but we’re not here for them. We’re here for us, for our family.”
As the throng of juggalos marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol, chants of “FA-MI-LY!” rang through the air.
Julia Lerner is a junior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.