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06-2022

Ottawa Soup Kitchen rolls over to charity after truck protesters allegedly harassed employees

Ottawa Soup Kitchen rolls over to charity after truck protesters allegedly harassed employees

Located off Parliament Hill, shepherds at the Good Hope shelter found themselves in the midst of protests this weekend.

“The constant honking and noise from trucks has caused great concern and distress to our staff and shelter residents,” the nonprofit said in a statement on Sunday.

Trouble escalated on Saturday afternoon when some protesters entered inside and demanded food as per the shelter.

“Some of them got quite aggressive and were arguing with our employees,” Good Hope spokeswoman Carolyn Cox told CNN.

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Cox said some of the food was unintentionally or unwillingly provided by staff, causing more protesters to flock to soup kitchens and demand free meals.

Demands for food and “verbal altercations continued for hours over dinner,” the shelter said in a statement.

During the commotion, a mentally ill homeless man was attacked by some protesters when he tried to open the door of the truck, the shelter staff claimed. According to Cox, the group pushed the man against the truck.

A security guard who attempted to help the man was “threatened and racially abused,” the nonprofit said.

Police told CNN in a written statement that the Ottawa Police Service had reached the shelter to investigate, as no police report was filed.

CNN has been unable to verify that the homeless man was assaulted.

The shelter refused to press charges and said the homeless man, who has not been named, is doing well.

Hundreds of truck drivers staged a self-titled rally in the Canadian capital Ottawa on Saturday. "freedom convoy"  To protest the vaccine mandate required to cross the US border.

Talk about the event soon surfaced, and since then, the Shepherds of Good Hope has seen nearly 10,000 individual donations.

“We’re a fairly small nonprofit, we’re not used to this level of charity,” Cox said. The staff is still reconciling the full amount received by the shelter.

The soup kitchen serves 500 to 700 meals to the homeless population on a daily basis.

A flood of donations will also help the nonprofit’s employees. It has been difficult for some shelter workers to drive with so many trucks on the roads, Cox said, so the nonprofit is providing Uber vouchers and reimbursement workers for taxis.

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The Shepherds of Good Hope weren’t the only ones reporting poor behavior from protesters this weekend.

Canada’s National War Memorial was allegedly desecrated and police said they had seen “multiple cases” of bullying and intimidation towards city activists and law enforcement.

“It’s not in line with Canadian values,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told CNN on Monday. “We value the right to protest and to strike and to speak out but it has gone far beyond this and it is time for them to move on.”

It all comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday that he and two of his three children have tested positive for Covid-19.

At a news conference, Trudeau had a strong word of mouth for those behind these reports.

“We are not afraid of people who abuse small businesses and steal food from the homeless,” Trudeau said. “We will not bow down to those who wave racist flags. And we will not bow down to those who indulge in vandalism, or insult the memory of our veterans.”

CNN’s Paula Newton contributed to this report.

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