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Climate Change Strike: Coloradans Of All Ages Join Student Protests

DENVER (CBS4) -- Climate activists of all ages are taking part in a global general strike on Friday. It was organized by school students and is expected to be the biggest day of climate demonstrations in the planet's history.

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Climate change protesters march on Denver's 16th Street Mall. (credit: CBS)

In Colorado, children, teens, adults and seniors participated in marches and protests in Denver and Steamboat Springs. Students like Megan Neufeld and Lola Bazile from Silver Creek High School in Longmont were among the organizers.

"Were you skipping class today?" CBS4's Rick Sallinger asked.

"Yes," replied Neufeld.

She and others had either gotten permission, assignments to take part or some schools just closed.

Neufeld spoke with her superintendent, getting the okay to take part.

She said this is important, "For me I feel my future and my generation's future is not guaranteed so how do you plan for that?"

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Climate change protesters march on Denver's 16th Street Mall. (credit: CBS)

The Global Climate Strike is the third in a worldwide series of climate rallies organized by school students, and led by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg.

Protesters hope to put pressure on politicians and policy makers to act on climate issues.

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Climate change protesters march on Denver's 16th Street Mall. (credit: CBS)

In Denver, activists met at Union Station and marched to the Colorado State Capitol.

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Climate change protesters march on Denver's 16th Street Mall. (credit: CBS)

Lola Bazile said this is not a one-time issue, "We need to show the government we have a voice and an opinion and we are not going away."

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Climate change protesters march on Denver's 16th Street Mall. (credit: CBS)

Other Denver students met at City Park to demonstrate their concern about about climate change.

"It just shows the people in power that students and young people and the generation who will have to deal with this cares," said Amelia Gorman, a senior at the Denver School of the Arts. "We want to make sure our future safety is ensured."

But not everyone at the event agreed with proposed methods to reduce global warming.

Sage Naumann, the communications director for the Colorado Senate Republicans said, "This is a group that is agitating for the end of coal and natural gas production in the state of Colorado immediately that's 75% of Colorado's energy."

Denver Public Schools said if students leave the building without parent and/or school permission, their absence is considered unexcused.

"The DPS Department of Safety has encouraged schools to provide activities that allow student voices to be heard on campus in an effort to minimize students traveling far distances off campus," district officials told CBS4. "However... to ensure students' safety, we will require a school or district employee to accompany them off campus if possible. This is not a sign that we support their protest; rather, that our students' safety is our top priority."

Protests took place in more than 150 countries. The following video shows a few of them.

Global Climate Strike

GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE: Millions of people around the world took to the streets on Friday to demand action on climate change. The youth-led global climate strike came ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23. The protests took place in more than 150 countries. Here are just a few of them.

Posted by CBS Newspath on Friday, September 20, 2019

Youths gather in Washington

In Washington, D.C., students -- some as young as elementary school age -- gathered late Friday morning in John Marshall Park ahead of a march to the Capitol.

Protesters chanted, "This is what democracy looks like," while holding signs with messages such as "There is no Planet B."

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)

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