Reader's View: Protesters harassing even first responders

While these emergency responders are on site, protesters hurl vulgar language, insults, and disgusting attacks at these hard-working men and women who are simply doing their job.

Reader's View.jpg
We are part of The Trust Project.

As a former fire chief, I understand the trials and tribulations that come along with being a first responder. You are required to continually put your life at risk to protect others. You are forced into dangerous situations with erratic individuals. And you never know what one day will bring.

But, as a veteran fireman who interfaces with first responders, I also understand the joy that comes from serving our communities and keeping our streets and citizens safe.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the Line 3 pipeline project, things are different. First responders from all over the region are pulled from the communities they serve and required to attend to protesters chained to equipment and harassing pipeline workers. And while these emergency responders are on site, protesters hurl vulgar language, insults, and disgusting attacks at these hard-working men and women who are simply doing their job.

Now, things have gone even further with protesters using road spikes and even feces as part of their tactics to harass first responders and cause damage.

I want to speak on behalf of many of us in northern Minnesota and give a big thank you to our first responders. They are going above and beyond to keep our region safe and secure. They are ensuring pipeline workers can do their jobs and earn their paychecks without disruption and harassment.


Holding up a sign and making your voice heard is one thing. But threats are quite another. It is clear protesters are escalating, and charges against them have become more significant.

We must stop this nonsense and allow our first responders to do their jobs in their communities. And, in the meantime, we absolutely must applaud their efforts when it comes to these ridiculous pipeline protests.

John Gerbracht

Bagley, Minnesota

The writer was a firefighter in Bagley for 21 years and served as Bagley’s fire chief.

Readers' View and Local Views

Letters are limited to 300 words, must be the original work of the author and must be exclusive to the News Tribune. Letters are edited for style, space, accuracy and civility.

Letter writers are limited to one published submission every 30 days.

With rare exceptions, the News Tribune does not publish poetry; letters that are anonymous, libelous or attack other writers; consumer-complaint letters; thank-you letters; or letters generated by political or special-interest campaigns.

We will consider exclusive Local View columns of 600 words or fewer. Authors should possess unique insights, and their commentaries should demonstrate greater knowledge of their subject than letters.

Email submissions to:

Mail to: Readers' Views, Duluth News Tribune, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802.

Fax to: 218-720-5120.

Include a full name, address and daytime phone number. Only names and hometowns will be published.

What To Read Next
Due to inflation, the amount we received was nothing.
It becomes quickly apparent that Republicans intend to detract us from the likelihood of their move helping giant corporations and the super wealthy continue to not pay their fair share of taxes.
Maybe the newspaper should have an editorial about raising the penalty for driving a car after revocation.
Tax credits allow hard-working people a chance to keep more of what they earn.