Over the past year, we have watched as radical partisans have continuously dismissed and discounted our first responders. In the Twin Cities, there will even be a vote on defunding the police, and it is clear those sentiments have infiltrated the numerous Line 3 pipeline opposition camps in northern Minnesota. Likely because most of the protesters are not from northern Minnesota, or Minnesota at all, but I digress.

It is disappointing, and to be honest, rather disgusting to see what our first responders have to deal with. These men and women have signed up to protect our streets, our businesses and our children. They have dedicated their lives to serve our communities and put themselves in the line of danger.

To see pipeline protesters attempt to push the narrative that there is now a “police state” in the 14 counties along the pipeline route is just about as foolish and far-fetched as it comes. It is especially frustrating to hear Line 3 opponents talk ill of the police after the police rescued some protesters from numerous precarious and often dangerous contraptions or situations.

Our first responders signed up for the job to serve their communities. They did not sign up to be called to protest sites outside of their towns to deal with the supposed “peaceful protesters trying to make their voices heard.” They especially did not sign up to be verbally harassed and insulted by the same “peaceful protesters” I just mentioned.

While Line 3 protest camps have apparently pledged to remain active despite construction being done, I am hopeful the circumstances will become more peaceful. Our law enforcement deserves to be treated with respect – especially when they are simply doing their job and trying to uphold the peace.

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Rich Siegert

Bemidji, Minnesota

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