ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Around 1,000 Minnesota students skipped school to gather on the steps of the state Capitol in St. Paul as part of global protests by young people demanding that governments take swift action to fight climate change.

On a sunny Friday, they chanted, ``Stop denying the earth is dying'' and called for passage of the Green New Deal, a sweeping environmental plan backed by progressives.

Farrah Bergstrom, a 16-year-old sophomore from Wayzata High School, told the crowd, ``It is of utmost importance that our leaders be held accountable now.''

Bergstrom says that's because climate change is not a distant issue for young people. She says the next generations are the ones that will be affected the most.

Similar ``school strikes,'' inspired by a Swedish activist, were planned in Rochester and Duluth.

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