Greta Thunberg rallies in Denver with young Colorado activists

The Swedish climate activist joined youth, tribal activists and hundreds of protesters to strike for action responding to climate change

Greta Thunberg speaks to the crowd at the Climate Strike rally at Civic Center Park on Oct. 11, 2019. (Photo by Evan Semón)
Greta Thunberg speaks to the crowd at the Climate Strike rally at Civic Center Park on Oct. 11, 2019. (Photo by Evan Semón)

Climate activist Greta Thunberg joined hundreds of young and old Coloradans as they descended on Civic Center Park on Friday in a rally for the Climate Strike movement. 

“We are here because we care about the future, about what we one day will leave after us,” Thunberg said. “And the political leaders can’t seem to think beyond the next election.”

Young climate activists, including indigenous representatives, led the day in presenting their demands for change, chief among them a ban on fracking and new fossil fuel development. 

Hundreds gathered in Denver’s Civic Center Park for the Climate Strike rally on Oct. 11, 2019. (Photo by Evan Semón)

Encircling the stage of the park’s amphitheater, supporters of the movement filled every step, wall, and column. Signs prickled up from the crowd with slogans like “planet over profit” and “keep the oil in the ground.” 

Ken Frost, a Ute tribal elder, began the ceremony with a traditional prayer and song. Then indigenous youth activist Tomas Lopez Jr. spoke to the crowd about the importance of marginalized and indigenous voices in the movement because they are often disproportionately affected by climate change. 

We must support the other young activists just like Thunberg on the front lines of the fight against climate change, Lopez said. 

Other tribal members spoke, danced and stood around the young activists. Their faces bore red and black paint in the shape of handprints over their mouths, a representation of missing and murdered indigenous women. Black and red dresses hung limp behind them, as another reminder. 

Haven Coleman, 13, spoke to the crowd, saying she began striking in January, after being inspired by Thunberg and other young activists around the world. In an interview with The Colorado Independent, she said her Friday strikes at the capitol can be difficult because she gets lonely sometimes. 

But, as she spoke in front of the crowd gathered around her at the park, Coleman expressed her thanks to all who had gathered in support of the movement with a wide smile and an excited kick for a flourish. 

“Sitting there for weeks alone, I’ve dreamt of having my global friends sit with me,” she said. “So this is really fun.”

Haven Coleman, 13, speaks to the crowd of protesters for the Climate Strike at Civic Center Park on Oct. 11, 2019. (Photo by Evan Semón)

Thunberg reached out to Coleman through Twitter in April, Coleman said, saying she wanted to come to Denver. 

Young people were at the forefront of the day, but much of the frustration was directed at adults. Coleman, as she spoke, asked the older generations with power to do something and not look away as the climate crisis bears down upon the world. 

“To the adults in power, you have the chance to do the right thing, but you won’t,” Coleman said. 

As Thunberg made her closing speech, she echoed Coleman’s frustration. It should not be up to us to take responsibility, Thunberg said, the older generations and political leaders are failing us. But we have to take responsibility now, and no one is too small to make a difference, she said.

“The world is waking up, and we are the change. And change is coming whether you like it or not,” she said.  

The next Global Climate Strike will be on November 29, according to Thunberg. But many like Coleman strike every Friday.




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  1. All these young folks with their ideologies? Better future, would be assured, with learning solid math, English, science, chemistry,. geography, history as it is written (not as interpreted by those with warped ideas, of the past, and study of all the ways, humans have taken advantage of other humans). They will be surprised of how many years, decades, centuries, they will have to wait, for planet earth to reach its end??????? They are not considering how many thousands of years, this planet has existed, after the big bang occurred, for it to become part of the universe. There was a time millions of years ago, when it was just a molten ball of matter, with no ice, And we still do not know, if this is first time humans have existed on this planet, or if there have been others before us. –
    ———I know what we accomplished in the 2oth century, but will there be similar advances in present one? With the start so far in 19 years, I don’t think so?????? Who knows?????? I don’t know if their is a GOD, but if their is, then perhaps, GOD knows?????? I do know our present Governmental Officials do not know.

  2. Aside from protesting and concerning themselves over what others are, or are not doing, what exactly are these “activists” doing to implement change and/or progress?

    Change happens with ones self first.

    Every car, device, appliance, toy, screen, light, heater, ac, machine, article of clothing, shoes, vape, cup of coffee, battery, consumer product, jewelry, etc., etc., etc. all consume energy.
    Each is contributing to the rapidly rising demand for energy. Rising energy demand that cannot currently be supplied by renewables.
    What are these people doing to change that?
    Why aren’t they spending their time finding/discovering viable alternatives, rather than griping about what others are, or aren’t doing?

    Windmills, solar panels, batteries, etc. all require metals or elements that require mining, which requires energy.
    Each require manufacturing, which require energy.
    Each require installation & service/maintenance which require energy.

    Where is the magic solution that provides viable, non-polluting, cheap, abundant energy for everyone that are using more products that are using more energy?

    How many of these people are growing their own food, creating their own plant feeds to grow that food?

    Judge thyselves first, ignorants.

    Every single one of you is part of the problem.

    Fast forward to the future:
    Today’s “green” energy solutions will be tomorrow’s new crises.
    Future generations will be rallying against these activists failed “solutions”.
    Todays activists will be the futures status-quo.

    • Li-ion battery waste is already becoming a growing concern.
    • Afghanistan, the “Saudi Arabia” of Lithium, is seeing continuing fighting over mining rights/profits.
    • Mining of rare earth metals, necessary for more & more modern products, is causing massive waterway & land pollution.

    I could go on, and on, and on…

  3. Frank I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s clear that additional study of science and math is sorely needed.

    Especially the parts about scientific consensus and climate change.

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