Bennies frontman Anty Horgan acknowledges attendance at anti-vax rally

Horgan said his attendance was "a spur of the moment thing and [he] really didn't understand the magnitude of [his] actions"

Frontman of ska-punk band The Bennies, Anty Horgan, has been spotted playing at an anti-vaccine mandate protest over the weekend.

As Blunt reports, Horgan was seen attending and opening for One Nation senator Pauline Hanson at the Millions March Against Mandatory Vaccination rally on the Gold Coast on Saturday (November 27). In addition to Hanson, fellow One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, business owners and healthcare workers were among the speakers at the event. Hanson and Roberts’ appearance at the event was promoted online beforehand.

Last week, Hanson’s bill prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status was knocked back in the Senate. She reportedly gave an update on the bill at the rally on Saturday.

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“I said to [Prime Minister] Scott Morrison last week when I had a half-an-hour conversation with him on the phone,” Hanson said. “He said, ‘Your bill doesn’t comply with the constitution.’ I said, ‘Well go out and bloody well change it so it does.’”

Images and footage taken at the rally also show the presence of at least one Trump flag, signs mentioning apartheid and segregation, and clothing referencing a QAnon conspiracy known as ‘The Great Awakening’.

Horgan, who said he is fully vaccinated, acknowledged his attendance at the rally on social media yesterday, explaining that he went “to see what people had to say about it”. He also distanced himself from Pauline Hanson and One Nation.

“I’m unhappy about a lot of the laws the government is forcing upon everyone [at the moment],” he wrote.

“I was trying to keep an open mind. I didn’t think me attending aligned myself with being a racist or a nazi… I’m so far from those thoughts.. I hope anyone that has ever spoken to me understands this.

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“It feels so surreal to be writing this.. [because] like I’m just so out of my depth and confused and overwhelmed. I guess I didn’t understand the magnitude of attending the rally. I’m really sorry if I’ve upset anyone.”

 

In a since-deleted statement posted on The Bennies’ Instagram this morning, Horgan elaborated, saying none of the other bandmates knew he was attending the rally.

“My friend asked me to play before him because he was there to speak about how the new laws are making it impossible for his bar to run effectively,” he wrote.

“It’s extremely obvious to me after all the hate and responses yesterday that I had made an error in judgment un playing at the rally.

“It was a spur of the moment thing and I really didn’t understand the magnitude of my actions and that it would impact my bandmates, so I didn’t feel the need to tell them. The other guys have nothing to do with this – so please don’t make judgment calls about them.”

Horgan has since posted a new statement on the band’s Instagram, writing: “In performing at the rally Pauline Hanson spoke at I have aligned myself with racism. I am truly and deeply sorry for this.”

NME has contacted Horgan and The Bennies for comment.

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