The rain was beating down on us as I walked to Kelvingrove park in Glasgow city with a heavy rucksack stuffed with my camera, microphone and other paraphernalia of a mobile journalist.
There were cops in neon yellow jackets everywhere, the difference being they were there to facilitate the March rather than stop it – to make sure the protestors were able to complete their walk to city centre in a peaceful manner.
They moved around, keeping an eye out as a helicopter hovered above.
Mums and dads with young kids, dog parents, old, young... everyone was there. Climate change now embraces all causes – a feminist group, an anti-racist group, an anti-capitalism group and yes, members from the Green Party.
At some point, the protestors broke into a dance and soon the people who came dressed as dinosaurs, trees and endangered birds started swaying from side to side.
It seemed more like a carnival and I realised that passion and causes can make you feel happy and light and connected – it doesn’t have to be all screams and protests, and feeling like it’s the end of the world!
I met an eight-year-old boy, Orlando, who was dressed as a dinosaur. A 16-year-old who came dressed as a tree and said that his group represented a ‘meadow’. An eighty-year-old was also there on a wheelchair, beating the drums.
After five hours of filming in the rain, I could barely feel my hands. I stepped into the warmth of a local cafe to file my story.
In the end, the march wasn’t just a party as people did reportedly end up getting arrested.
But in that windy, cold day in Glasgow, I wished that the world leaders at COP26 would step out of the venue and meet the protestors half way. Now that would have been a story!
(Bahar Dutt is an award-winning environment journalist, currently covering COP26 in Glasgow.)