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Soup kitchen says Freedom Convoy truckers ‘harassing’ staff for meals and used ‘racial slurs’

A soup kitchen in Ottawa has reported that members of the trucking convoy have been harassing its staff for meals, while one community member was assaulted and a security guard called “racial slurs.”

In a tweet, the Shepherds of Good Hope said meals had been provided to truckers after some issues, but stated that it would not be providing food for the convoy going forward.

Later on Sunday officials added more details to what happened at their facility on Saturday.

“Friends, it’s been a difficult 24 hours. Staff harassed for meals. A service user and security guard assaulted. Through it all, you have donated and filled our hearts with gratitude. Every cent will support people experiencing homelessness. Thank you.,” they tweeted.

“One member of our shelter community was assaulted by protestors. A security guard went to his aid and was threatened and called racial slurs.”

A second day of protests is underway in the Canadian capital after thousands of truckers and supporters descended on Parliament Hill on Saturday to protest vaccine mandates.

The food kitchen took to twitter to address the situation it had faced durign Saturday’s protests and the “significant strain” it had put on their efforts to feed the homeless in the city.

“Earlier today, our staff and volunteers experienced harassment from convoy protestors seeking meals from our soup kitchen,” they stated.

“The individuals were given meals to diffuse the conflict. Management was then informed of the issue 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.”

The protests have taken place after the Canadian federal government ended a truckers’ exemption to the vaccine mandate on 15 January, which now means that Canadian truck drivers need to be fully vaccinated to avoid a two-week quarantine when they cross back into Canada from the US.

The convoy made its way from British Columbia for this weekend’s rally, which police say is expected to draw around 10,000 demonstrators.

Mr Trudeau has said that it is the Canadians who have got vaccinated who have been protecting “the freedoms and the rights of Canadians to get back to the things we love to do”.

Supporters of the convoy have said they will be calling on Mr Trudeau to end all mandates, even though most are the responsibilities of the country’s provinces.

Despite the convoy, the federal government has said that it has no plans to end the federal vaccine mandates that apply to truckers and other Canadian travellers.

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