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Video captures moment masked vigilantes cut down controversial William Crowther statue in Franklin Square

Pulse Tasmania
Video captures moment masked vigilantes cut down controversial statue. Image / Supplied

Footage has emerged showing the moment multiple masked individuals cut down a controversial statue in the Hobart CBD.

The Franklin Square monument of William Crowther was toppled in the early hours of Wednesday morning after being severed at the ankles.


The video, apparently showing men wearing dark clothing, gloves and beanies, begins with the individuals graffitiing the words “what goes around” and “decolonize” on the former Premier’s plinth.

They then use a battery-powered angle grinder to cut through the Crowther statue before pulling it to the ground.

Video captures moment masked vigilantes cut down controversial statue. Image / Supplied

The video was anonymously uploaded to Instagram by an account associated with a ‘civil resistance youth movement’, accompanied by the hashtags #realdemocracy, #f**kbureaucracy and #thecolonywillfall.

“We can’t erase history, but we can tear down the horrible colonialists who have disgraced it until we wake up to the reality of colonisation on this continent,” the post read.

The Crowther statue on Wednesday morning. Image / Supplied

The removal occurred just hours before a tribunal ruled in favour of the statue’s removal following a failed appeal, a decision welcomed by the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

Nala Mansell from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre on Wednesday said she was “happy to hear” the statue had fallen.


“I’m not endorsing what’s happened, but I think it goes to show that the people of Tasmania, people who understand right from wrong, are saying enough is enough,” she told Local Radio.

“We’ve been fighting for decades for it to be gone … Good on them for taking that action and doing what needed to be done a long time ago.”

The head and hands of the controversial statue were covered in red by an artist and the Hobart City Council in 2021 to represent his ‘bloody’ history. Image / Pulse

She said the Hobart City Council “have saved a lot of money now and a lot of processes” thanks to those behind the impromptu take down job.

“The statue has now been removed. Let’s look at other statues that are offensive and have no place in history,” she said.

Tasmania Police are investigating the incident and say charges are yet to be laid at this stage.

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