Editor’s Note: Close to 90% of Canadian Truckers are vaccinated according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Canadian Trucking Alliance reports that many protesters this week do not have a connection to the trucking industry.
An organization in Ottawa providing support and meals for folks experiencing homelessness in the city says that they’ve come into conflict with protesters demanding meals.
Shepherds of Good Hope reported on Twitter how protests linked to the so-called “Freedom Convoy” have caused “significant strain” to their work at an already critical time.
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First, the presence of the protestors and trucks made it so difficult to get to the shelter that only one volunteer made it as trucks lined the roads surrounding their programs.
“The incessant honking and noise from trucks caused significant anxiety to our staff, volunteers and most importantly, people using our services,” they said, noting an increase in mental health distress in shelter residents.
and no further meals were given to protesters. Our soup kitchen is committed to providing meals to people experiencing and at risk of homelessness in Ottawa. This weekend’s events have caused significant strain to our operations at an already difficult time. (2/2)
— Shepherds of Good Hope (@sghottawa) January 30, 2022
Shepherds of Good Hope said that its soup kitchen staff “experienced verbal, harassment, and pressure from protesters seeking meals.”
“One service user was assaulted by protesters and when a security guard (who is a member of a visible minority) went to help the individual, they had racist abuse hurled at them.”
Initially, Shepherds of Good Hope didn’t want to comment on the protest at all.
“However, we felt compelled to correct disinformation on protest communications channels that we were “happy to feed the Patriots”. This was not the case.”
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Now, after sharing their experience during the “Freedom Convoy” protests in Ottawa, they have been overwhelmed with support from across the country and are grateful for the chance to “highlight the incredible work done by our teams.”
You can learn more about the Shepherds of Good Hope and show your support.
Ottawa Police report there has been illegal behaviour during the protests.
Several criminal investigations are underway in relation to the desecration of the National War Memorial/Terry Fox statue, threatening/illegal/intimidating behaviour to police/city workers and other individuals and damage to a city vehicle. 1/2
— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) January 30, 2022
Ottawa Police said they encountered challenges and de-escalated high-risk situations on Saturday and are maintaining a large presence in the city on Sunday as protests continue.