I say this as someone who has spent a lot of time down there over the last week: I hate Westlake Park. It's ugly as sin, it's a soulless valley in the middle of some of the lamest buildings in Seattle, and it's directly facing the old Borders store, which is now, depressingly, a Halloween shop. This has been said many times by many people over the last few days on Twitter, on Slog, and in comments, but it needs to be repeated until Occupy Seattle listens: Westlake Park is not worth fighting for.
The anarchists who have temporarily taken control of the Occupy Seattle movement need to understand that this is not about them fighting the cops for a few hundred square feet of ugly ground in a godforsaken spot in the middle of Seattle's incredibly boring downtown. Making it about that does a great disservice to Seattle, to the national Occupy movement, and to everyone who is coming down to Westlake on Saturday to show their support. The problem with Seattle's protesters is that they get caught up in fighting what is. What they need to do right now is give an example of what can be.
Take the mayor up on his offer of night camping at City Hall. And then turn that camp into something great. Host nightly lectures by UW professors and visiting authors. Show movies. Host rock shows. Make The People's Library into something worth our attention, rather than a couple of cardboard boxes in the middle of a much-contested thoroughfare. Rather than trying to fuck shit up and piss off the police, build the kind of utopian society you want, in miniature. Make the daily march to and from the City Hall camp back to Westlake into something fun—a parade, with music and dancing and signs. Make your camp a destination that people want to visit. Making this whole thing a battle over a public space that nobody likes is embarrassing and it flies in the face of what the Occupy Wall Street protesters have created.