The political punk band Anti-Flag abruptly broke up in July after an episode of Enough, a podcast about sexual assault in the music business, featured a story that seemed to identify Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane as a rapist. Sane, born Justin Geever, denied the allegations, while his former bandmates released their own statement explaining that they’d broken up because it is a “core tenet” of the band to “believe all survivors of sexual violence and abuse.” Two days ago, Rolling Stone published a report in which 12 more women accused Sane of sexual assault, which has occasioned a new response from the other three members of Anti-Flag.
In a new statement, former bandmates Pat Thetic, Chris Head, and Chris “#2” Barker affirm their support for survivors of sexual violence, thanking Sane’s accusers for their courage one by one. “To Justin, we believe you are very sick and in need of serious professional help,” they write. “We want to have compassion and have faith in restorative justice, but fuck you for hurting so many people, not just the ones who have bravely come forward, but anyone still carrying their pain internally. Fuck you for exploiting the work of the band and the many people associated with it for so long. As many predators do, it appears you used our beliefs as a cover for egregious activities that you clearly knew we would never condone.”
Read the full statement below via Brooklyn Vegan:
In light of the recent article in Rolling Stone magazine, to Kristina, Jenn, Molly, Rebecca, Suzanne, Mat, Susie, Stefanie, Karina, Ella, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Tali, we would like to say thank you for your courage in sharing the pain you have experienced. And, to others who may yet come forward, while you don’t owe anyone your story, please know that you are not alone and that we believe you.
To Justin, we believe you are very sick and in need of serious professional help. We want to have compassion and have faith in restorative justice, but fuck you for hurting so many people, not just the ones who have bravely come forward, but anyone still carrying their pain internally. Fuck you for exploiting the work of the band and the many people associated with it for so long. As many predators do, it appears you used our beliefs as a cover for egregious activities that you clearly knew we would never condone.
To everyone, we collectively and individually still have far more questions than answers in this moment. We have been learning of and processing all of this information in real-time. We trusted Justin greatly and are now learning that we were deceived, lied to, and kept in the dark for the entirety of our association. For Chris Barker, personally, Justin knew his history with trauma: his father has been convicted of sexual abuse of children and is currently incarcerated, his sister was a victim of abuse, and Chris himself was sexually abused by an older child in their neighborhood. We share this to demonstrate that Justin was acutely aware of the visceral reaction we would have to such destructive behavior. But also because sharing a stage for so long with someone you later learn is an accused predator has been incredibly painful to process and come to terms with. Two things can be true: a person can be kind and selfless in one space and a monster in another.
Around 10:30PM on July 18th, we were alerted that a podcast would be released the next morning detailing a sexual assault involving Justin. We forwarded a message to him that previewed the episode and contained a photo and name. Justin responded that he did not know this person. The next morning, when the three of us heard Kristina’s story, it became apparent to us that he was lying. To be true to the values we embraced for decades, we quit the band immediately and without hesitation. The three of us removed the band’s internet presence in an attempt to limit spaces for people to attack, antagonize, or harm Kristina as we tried to get a grasp on this shocking information.
As more details have been shared since the release of the podcast, we have been waiting for Justin to do the right thing. Given his lack of contrition in any meaningful way, it is very clear that he is absolutely not the person we were led to believe him to be.
We are unsure where our path will lead us. Right now, words feel hollow and no statement can alleviate the suffering that has been caused. We have a great deal to learn about ourselves – with much soul-searching and introspection ahead. There will have to be a lot of therapy and devotion of time and resources to places that are equipped to help with these kinds of traumas. The three of us are still in shock and grieving, but mostly our hearts are broken for every victim. We are deeply saddened by every one of your painful stories, and will forever be grateful for your courage in sharing them.
Love, healing, and justice to all survivors.
Pat, Chris, and Chris
If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, here are some organizations that are dedicated to providing assistance.
• Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: RAINN | The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization
• National Sexual Abuse Hotline: 800.656.4673
• Center For Victims
• Pittsburgh Action Against Rape: Home Page – PAAR
Justin Sane has yet to comment on the latest round of allegations.