Protesters topple Vancouver's Gassy Jack statue in Gastown (VIDEO)
Protesters in downtown Vancouver on Monday, February 14 have toppled the Gassy Jack statue on Water Street.
Not only was the statue pulled down from his spot, he was also covered in red paint.
Protesters gathered Gastown for part of the annual Women‘s Memorial March for murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people.
Gathering at 10:30 am at Carnegie Community Centre, the protesters appear to have made their way into Gastown where they damaged the statue that typically stands at one of the city’s most iconic intersections.
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Videos and photos posted to social media show the scene where hundreds of protesters gathered.
#protest #downtown #Vancouver I’m not even sure what they are protesting. #Gastown pic.twitter.com/4sT7vc05nS
— OlyaKL🚛🇨🇦🚚 (@OlyaKarLott) February 14, 2022
Sitting at a bar in Gastown, watching FN protestors cut down the gassy jack statue. pic.twitter.com/kO8D0SVl6H
— cjquaschnick (@cjquaschnick) February 14, 2022
And Gassy Jack is down! ✊🏼 pic.twitter.com/xYoy5moiyD
— MassyBooks (@MassyBooks) February 14, 2022
The statue of Gassy Jack was just torn down in #gastown during the #MMIWG March in #vancouver pic.twitter.com/3nSWfK1iv8
— Elizabeth McDonald (@emcdonaldnews) February 14, 2022
Daily Hive has reached out to Vancouver Police for more information and will update this story.
According to organizers, the protest proceeded through the Downtown Eastside and featured speeches from community leaders, stopping to commemorate where some women were last seen or found.
Protesters have taken aim at the Gassy Jack statue and instead put up a red dress – a symbol for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit (MMIWG2S).
It’s said that “Gassy Jack,” aka John Deighton was so-called “gassy” because he talked a lot.
The Gastown neighbourhood as we know it today is named after him, although it’s built upon built on unceded territory.
Back in June 2020, the Squamish Nation released a statement that sheds more light on the history of Gassy Jack, saying that he immigrated to Squamish Nation territory from England.
“Around the late 1860s, Gassy Jack married a Squamish woman. She then died around 1870.”
“After her death, he married her niece, a 12-year-old Squamish young woman who was known as Madeline, or X̱áliya.”
“In 1871, they had a son together named Richard Mason Deighton. Gassy Jack and Richard reportedly later died in 1875. After Gassy Jack’s death, Madeline (X̱áliya) remarried a Squamish man known as Big William. They have descendants in the Squamish Nation today. Madeline died August 10, 1948, aged 90 in North Vancouver.”
The Squamish Nation said that they recognize the ongoing conversation about their history, ancestors, and the City of Vancouver and said that they should be involved in “any decisions about the telling of our people’s history or actions taken in our people’s name.”
It’s not the first time that the statue has been vandalized with paint, either. Back in 2020, the statue was vandalized and there was even a petition circulating online to take it down completely.