Iconic punk band Anti-Flag has broken up, deleted all social media, and went silent after the lead singer was accused of raping a fan on a podcast.
Anti-Flag is a far-left band formed in 1988 that became popular for their anti-government and anti-war anthems that were often used as protest songs. The all-male band also frequently boasted of their “feminist” credentials.
The band has not issued a statement other than to say that they have disbanded and will be shutting down their Patreon. Vocalist and bass player Chris Barker, known by fans as “Chris No. 2,” has also deleted his social media, according to Punk News.
The breakup and deletions happened on the same day a woman claimed she was raped by the “lead singer” during a lengthy podcast interview.
The alleged victim, Kristina Sarhadi, according to her biography in the “Enough.” podcast’s description, is a “therapist, reiki master, writer and recovering social worker from New York.”
Though she does not name who she is discussing, her allegations appear to be against lead singer Justin Sane — based on her reference to this Tumblr post.
Sarhadi said that as a child, she had an unhealthy home life and began sneaking out at the age of 11 and attending punk concerts. She said that diving into the music scene was a coping mechanism and gave her a place to find other outsiders who did not fit into mainstream groups.
“Punk just became a huge part of my life and how I made friends,” Sarhadi said. She explained that it helped to shape who she would become as an adult.
Sarhadi explained on the podcast that she had just graduated college and was living with her parents. She went to Brooklyn to see the band, who she says was one of her favorites from when she was 9 or 10 years old.
Anti-Flag played Brooklyn in September 2010.
“I had seen them a million times before. They were one of my favorite bands to see live. I obviously went right up to the front row, and during the show, the lead singer and I had that moment where, like, you lock eyes, and then you’re just singing to each other,” she explained.
Sarhadi said she felt like he was singing just to her for the rest of the show.
As soon as the concert ended, Sarhadi says that the rest of the band left and the crowd dispersed — but the singer came up and talked to her. They discovered he would soon be in her area for a film festival promoting a documentary he appeared in.
Sarhadi and the political punk musician, who was nearly double her age, exchanged numbers and made plans to have dinner at the film festival.
She said that it was a documentary about “protest songs.” Justin Sane was featured in a documentary called Sounds Like Revolution in 2010.
The documentary was featured at the Woodstock Film Festival, near Sarhadi’s home, from September 29 through October 3 — shortly after the Brooklyn concert. Justin Sane was on a panel and performed at the event.
When she got home from the initial concert, she told her dad she had just met and made plans with her idol, though he often teased her by calling her a “groupie.” He warned her not to meet up with him.
She ignored the warning and went to the festival. After the screening, the singer went and found her and asked her to drive him to a party in the woods. She claims that at this point, he started hitting on her, becoming very touchy, and telling her how cute she was. Sarhadi said that he was one of her biggest crushes growing up, so she was very excited to be around him.
On the way, she claims he asked her to pull over in an empty parking lot and get into the back seat with him.
Sarhadi had a serious boyfriend at the time and did not want to do anything sexual in her grandfather’s vehicle. She says she told him she did not want to, and he kept pushing, so she lied and said she had her period.
Once they arrived at the party, he introduced her to people as his girlfriend, which she said caused her to let her guard down. Another female fan was hanging around and befriended Sarhadi. The alleged victim said that the singer looked both girls up and down, turned to her, and said, “let’s drive her home,” as if he had chosen her over the other fan.
The musician ended up kissing her on the porch of the house where the other woman was staying.
“I immediately felt like the worst person in the world,” she told the podcast hosts.
Still, Sarhadi drove him back to his hotel.
The musician, she says, then told her that he had just recorded a song with Billy Bragg and that she needed to come to hear it. Excited, she thought to herself that she “needed to hear this song.”
Anti-flag was famously straight edge, meaning no drugs or alcohol, and so was Sarhadi. In fact, she claims that she was influenced heavily by them to live that lifestyle.
Oddly, when they arrived at the hotel, he took her to the bar and told her a sob story about his fiance leaving him. They both decided to break their own rules and drink.
Soon, she said that they went back to his room. Sarhadi recalled him screaming, “football tackle,” and throwing her onto the bed.
“Which is the most terrifying way to begin a sexual assault, I would say,” she explained. “As soon as I hit the bed, he put his hand around my throat and basically turned into a monster.”
Sarhadi said that he proceeded to violently and sexually “attack” her.
“There were several moments that I thought I was dying,” Sarhadi said. “I definitely may have passed out or thought I was about to pass out. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t have any oxygen. I was crying, screaming, telling him to stop, but, he didn’t. It went on for a very long time.”
She said, “I can’t stress how violent he was and became and how much I fully believed that I was going to die and he was going to kill me.”
At one point during the alleged assault, he claimed he was getting a condom, but after he passed out, she found the condom still fully wrapped and unused.
Anti-Flag, in their well-known song “F-ck Police Brutality,” assert, “The cops can do no wrong. They can kill, they can rape, they can do what they want.”
It looks like some male feminist punk bands also believe they can do what they want. Projection?
The band also has a song called “Feminism Is For Everybody (With A Beating Heart And A Functioning Brain),” in which they sing about how they “refuse to be a victim of this gender warfare.”
In 2018, Anti-Flag headlined the “Silence=Violence Tour” and released a video for their song “Finish What We Started,” which tackled “gun control, homeless LGBTQ youth, the recent rise of hate crimes, physical and sexual violence against women, and unjust treatment of immigrants,” according to the website Brooklyn Vegan.
Sarhadi said it was hard for her to deal with him doing something that was “so contrary to literally everything I had ever heard come out of his mouth, everything they had ever said in public, every song they ever wrote — it just didn’t make sense to me.”
Sarhadi says she is still in therapy, trying to live with what happened.
“One moment totally upended my life, and this person has no f-cking idea — and probably doesn’t give a sh-t,” Sarhadi said.
You can watch the full podcast below.
Timcast News has attempted to reach out to members of Anti-Flag for comment and will update this post if one is provided. This article has been updated to include additional context and information.