What You Need To Know About Global Climate Strike Actions In Colorado

September 20, 2019
Layne Iafrati holds a home-made sign and participates in a climate change awareness march and rally, in Denver, Saturday, April 29, 2017. Layne Iafrati holds a home-made sign and participates in a climate change awareness march and rally, in Denver, Saturday, April 29, 2017. Brennan Linsley/AP Photo
Layne Iafrati holds a home-made sign and participates in a climate change awareness march and rally, in Denver, Saturday, April 29, 2017.

Young people across Colorado plan to walk out of school today to help kick off an international week of climate action.

Organizers expect thousands of demonstrators to march down Denver's 16th St. Mall and rally at the state Capitol. More than 25 other events are planned across the state the same day.

The events are a part of a Global Climate Strike inspired, in part, by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. The mass demonstrations in 156 countries will demand an end to the fossil fuel era ahead of U.N. climate action summit next week.

Here's what you need to know about everything happening in Colorado.

When will this all start?

Depends on where you are. The earliest event starts in Aspen at 8:30 a.m., Colorado Springs at 10:00 a.m., Boulder and Denver's strikes start at 11:00 a.m. Later in the afternoon, you can expect events in Golden at 2:00 p.m., Pueblo at 4:00 p.m. and a 5:30 p.m. start in Fort Collins.

Who's planning the climate strikes today?

The actions are being coordinated by youth organizers with help from a broad coalition of environmental nonprofits. The SEIU Local 105 is also supporting the youth strike, and Patagonia will close its store on 15th Street and provide coffee and doughnuts to protesters.

Megan Neufeld, a 16-year-old junior at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, plans to lead a walkout of about 20 students for the event. She said members of 350 Colorado and the Sunrise Movement have helped her coordinate the action.

"I don't feel like my generation's future is guaranteed," Neufeld said. "I do want to make plans for that future, so I got to fight for it."

What do the demonstrators want?

While each action has its own set of priorities, the coalition has compiled a list of youth demands. It includes a Green New Deal to support a "just transition" to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. There are also calls to halt deforestation and subsidies for industrial agriculture.

What's going the rest of the week?

A number of other "escalated" actions are planned through Sept. 29.

On Wednesday, demonstrators demand the closure of Suncor Energy's oil refinery north of Denver, which has racked up a number of air pollution violations. Friday is set aside to encourage divestment from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo because of the banks' financing of fossil fuel projects. And Sunday, Sept. 29, protesters in Broomfield will demand an end to hydraulic fracturing in residential neighborhoods.

A full list of events can be found at the coalition's website.

Are they going to get in my way and cause traffic jams?

If you commute through a particular part of Denver, almost definitely.

On Monday, Extinction Rebellion, a nonviolent direct action group born in the UK, is planning a pair of events at a Sunken Garden Park off of Speer Boulevard in Denver. Given its previous actions, the group will likely make some attempt to block traffic and force arrests.