Gassy Jack statue torn down in Vancouver


A petition called for the statue to be removed: “The likeness of a pedophile should not be prominently displayed in downtown Gastown for fun tourist photo ops.”

The Gassy Jack statue in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood was pulled down during the annual Women’s Memorial March in the city’s Downtown Eastside.

Many people took to Twitter on Monday afternoon February 14 to share photos and videos of the statue, located at Carrall and Water streets, being pulled down with ropes by people in the crowd. After the statue was toppled, protesters replaced it with a single red dress and red paint.

In June 2020, the statue was defaced with red paint, sparking conversation about the controversial figure. Based on a short film titled “Red Women Rising” by Support Services For Battered Women, Jack Deighton, known as “Gassy Jack”, raped a 12-year-old Aboriginal girl by taking her as his wife. An online petition has been launched demanding the removal of Deighton’s likeness which has garnered almost 25,000 signatures.

Vancouver police said they were investigating the incident, but no one was injured and no arrests were made.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart took to Twitter to remark that the city had consulted with the Squamish Nation on the “right path” to removing the statue and “acknowledging the truth about John Deighton’s harmful legacy.”

“Today’s actions were dangerous [and] jeopardizes ongoing work with Squamish [Nation] to guide the steps towards reconciliation,” he said.

Here are some photos and videos of the statue taken down in Gastown.

Red women rise

In “Red Women Rising”, the narrator explains how Gassy Jack was married to an Aboriginal woman whose name is “lost to history”. They add that he bought the woman’s niece – 12-year-old Quahail-ya – to act as his “wife”.

“The statue of Gassy Jack, still standing, commemorates and celebrates the continued devastation of First Nations people, our laws, our lands, our rights and especially our women,” the narrator said.

“When I see that statue standing there, it makes me angry, it offends me, it insults me, it hurts me, and it motivates me to keep doing what I have to do to become one of those women. red rising.”


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