Lindsey Hilsum, the speaker at this year’s Hetherington Lecture and International Editor for Channel 4 News, visited the students occupying the Logie Lecture Theatre on Wednesday evening.
Hilsum visited the occupied lecture theatre where she was greeted by the students. She spoke to the students about the occupation and the issues facing the students participating in it. She spoke about her visit to the occupation and how students participating in the occupation told her that nobody from university management has spoken to them, also saying that she was “intrigued and touched” by their comments.
After the Hetherington Lecture, Hilsum spoke to Brig about the occupation, saying that she is always delighted to see students being politically active and involved. She spoke about how she took part in an occupation when she was at university. She said that the students told her that they want to talk to management, and that in her time as a war reporter, she has learned that it is important to talk to people if a solution is going to be reached.
The issue of communication has been one voiced by the occupiers since the beginning of the occupation, with many occupiers criticising the “radio silence” they have had from university management and the student’s union.
After the lecture Hilsum took a picture with members of the occupation who had gathered outside lecture theatre A3 in the Cottrell building, holding signs supporting lecturers and apologising that the Hetherington Lecture, which was supposed to take place in the Logie Lecture Theatre, had to be relocated. Students from the occupation were pictured standing outside the Cottrell Building holding signs making members of the public aware that the lecture had been relocated.
Lindsey Hilsum is an awarding winning journalist who has reported on conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and was the only English-speaking journalist in Rwanda when the 1994 massacre occurred. She is one of several high profile visitors to the occupation, with MSPs from Scottish Labour and the Green Party, as well as the NUS Scotland President-Elect Liam McCabe, all coming to visit the occupation.
The occupation has now been taking place for over a week, and continues to divide student opinion.