Anti-Vaxx 'Freedom Convoy' Truckers Harass Ottawa Soup Kitchen For Freedom, Eh
A rag-tag group of anti-vaccine Canadian truckers have been roaming the country, undermining their nation's reputation for politeness, and protesting a new law that would require truckers driving between Canada and the USA to either be vaccinated or to quarantine for several days after returning from the US. The United States has implemented the same mandate for truckers here.
While 80 percent of Canadians are vaccinated and the vast majority are supportive of mandates meant to keep them from dying of COVID-19, these truckers — calling themselves the Freedom Convoy — are demanding that this mandate and others be eliminated, on account of how they don't like them. They've garnered support from some conservative Canadian politicians, along with many of the worst people in the States, such as Elon Musk, Donald Trump Jr., Joe Rogan,Greg Gutfield, and Donald Trump himself.
The truckers pulled into Ottawa this weekend, where they attempted to convey that message by trashing the city and assaulting nice people who were just trying to take care of the unhoused.
There were reports of urination on the National War Memorial and desecration of other monuments, including the statue of Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete and cancer research activist, who died in 1981 after dedicating his life to raising funds to cure the disease. [...]
Some demonstrators held signs featuring swastikas. Others angrily called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to quit, chanting in unison on Parliament Hill.
Canada’s minister of defense, Anita Anand, called some of the scenes from Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial “beyond reprehensible,” as footage emerged of protesters dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and screaming “freedom.”
Well ... that oughta show 'em. Funny how these conservative types are always such great monument-loving, troop-supporting, back-the-blue, follow-the-rule-of-law patriots until they find themselves inconvenienced in some way.
In addition to the chaos they caused downtown, the truckers also decided to stop by Shepherd of Good Hope, a local Ottawa soup kitchen, to harass and assault staff and demand to be fed, despite clearly not being in need themselves.
The shelter described the harassment in a statement published to Twitter:
Trucks were parked in our ambulance drop off zone for nearly 12 hours until they were removed and towed with the support of Ottawa Police Services. The incessant honking and noise from trucks caused significant anxiety and stress to our staff and shelter residents. The Salvation Army Outreach van was not able to run in the downtown core. All shelters in the sector had to figure out contingency plans for client transportation.
The staff and volunteers at our soup kitchen experienced verbal harassment and pressure from protestors seeking meals. While we are not certain of exact numbers, the demands for meals and verbal altercations continued for several hours over the dinner period. One member of our shelter community was assaulted by protestors. A security guard went to his aid and was threatened and called racial slurs.
“It’s been super challenging for the staff," Deirdre Freiheit, the president and CEO of Shepherd of Good Hope, told Global News. "They’re exhausted, they’re tired. And when they see people coming in and taking services from people who need them the most …It’s very discouraging,”
It's sickening, is what it is.
I would just like to be clear here — this kind of behavior is not just obnoxious, it's not just a stunningly unsurprising action from people we already know to be terrible, it is extremely dangerous in this kind of weather. This is the kind of weather where people die of hypothermia, so they really need to be able to get into these shelters. If someone calls 311 because they see an unhoused person who is on the verge of freezing to death or is otherwise in an unsafe situation, the Salvation Army Outreach van is who they send to help get them to a warming center or a drop-off center. Hell, that's who these people can call themselves to come get them almost any hour of the day.
So these yahoos are not only fighting for their "right" to make people unsafe by trekking back and forth between countries without being vaccinated or taking other precautions, but they are putting homeless people in harm's way while protesting for that "right." It's almost like they don't give a damn about anyone else at all.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse