Punk rock group Anti-Flag has disbanded following allegations of sexual assault against co-founder Justin Geever, also known as Justin Sane. The band, known for its progressive messaging and political activism, including anti-war causes and animal-rights advocacy, abruptly ended their European tour after the accusations surfaced. The allegations were made by Kristina Sarhadi, a former fan, who appeared on a podcast to accuse Geever of violent sexual assault. Sarhadi’s claim was later confirmed to be directed at Geever by Rolling Stone magazine.
In response to the allegations, Geever categorically denied any non-consensual sexual encounters and refuted the accusation. The other band members, Patrick Bollinger, Chris Head, and Chris Barker, expressed shock and heartbreak over the allegations, emphasizing their belief in survivors. They released a statement alongside Geever, stating that disbanding was the only immediate option. However, they also mentioned that they had never witnessed Geever being violent or aggressive towards women in the past.
Rolling Stone magazine interviewed twelve additional women who claimed to have had similar encounters with Geever, dating back to the 1990s and as recently as 2020. These allegations include predatory behavior, sexual assault, and even statutory rape. Geever did not respond to Rolling Stone’s requests for comment regarding the detailed list of allegations.
The disbandment of Anti-Flag came as a shock to fans who admired the band’s commitment to inclusivity and activism. The allegations against Geever contradicted the band’s stated values and ideals. The band’s social media presence, including personal pages of the members, was wiped clean, and a brief statement announcing the disbandment was released. Anti-Flag did not provide any further explanation or denial regarding the assault claim.
The allegations against Geever have sparked a reckoning within the punk rock community, as fans grapple with the potential betrayal of their faith in the band’s message. The impact of these allegations on the broader punk rock movement remains to be seen.