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Federal workers gather downtown to protest the government shutdown

Federal workers took to the streets in downtown Denver Thursday afternoon to protest the government shutdown.

DENVER — A group of federal workers who protested the government shutdown in downtown Denver Thursday afternoon said they have been through this before. 

The protest comes on Day 20 of the government shutdown, tying it for the second-longest in U.S. history. The longest was in 1995, when Democrat Bill Clinton served as president. 

The shutdown has affected about 800,000 federal employees

"The last shutdown with Obama, I was not prepared," said Paul Zedeck, who works in cyber security.

That was a lesson he said prepared him for this round of gridlock. 

"After that experience, we decided to save up over the past many, many years," Zedeck said. "We've been able to save up about three months salary."

But Zedeck added that the longer this shutdown lasts, the more worried he gets -- a sentiment shared by others at the protest. 

"I have a bit of savings, but that's not going to last very long," said Barbara Conklin, who works at the Environmental Protection Agency. "To have to dip into retirement accounts is not an option."

Conklin and Zedeck both have been told to stay home until the government shutdown is over. 

"We're government servants literally, and we can't do that and we're not able to fulfill our oath of office when we chose to work for the federal government, which is that we will protect and defend the constitution," Conklin said.

The protesters delivered a message to Senator Corey Gardner's office thanking him for his stance that the shutdown needs to end. 

"To these 800,000 workers whose livelihoods are put at risk, this isn't a partisan issue," said Josh Downey, president of the Denver Area Labor Federation, the group that organized the protest.

Prior government shutdown coverage:

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