Damages Action Against Prison Planet

by James Patrick in Colchester, England, United Kingdom

Damages Action Against Prison Planet
We did it
On 6th March 2017 we successfully raised £2,000 with 100 supporters in 14 days

To make a small claims action against an alt-right news editor for breach of unilateral offer to fund impartial coverage of crime in Sweden

by James Patrick in Colchester, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Youn ever know how brutal this might get in court, plus: it's a nice thing for charity. And let's not leave any doubts as to performance in contract law by travelling to Malmo and writing a truthful article on the city. 

Paul Joseph Watson, known by the Twitter handle @PrisonPlanet, and with a following of 503,200 followers, is a popular video blogger and the editor of right wing (so-called ‘Alt-Right) content for Infowars, Prison Planet, and Propaganda Matrix. He is British and lives in Battersea, London. His web content is supportive of extreme right wing policy and ‘fake news’ and, following debunked comments about crime by immigrants in Sweden, he is pursuing a narrative of portraying Sweden as a violent country.

At 04.03am (US Time, set by Twitter, as all other times stated here) on the 20th of February 2017, Watson tweeted as follows: “Any journalist claiming Sweden is safe; I will pay for travel costs & accommodation for you to stay in crime ridden migrant suburbs of Malmo”. The unilateral offer was not withdrawn at any point and by 08.58am Watson had tweeted that he had already personally donated $2,000 dollars to one journalist, Tim Pool. By 09.53 Watson was responding to a Huffington Post article that he was already “funding a journalist to go there and do the investigation, as I promised”.

Watson made an indisputable unilateral offer at 04.03am, and made good on the offer at 08.58am. There is no question as to whether the offer was genuine, nor that the contract was actually fulfilled in one case several hours later. There was no prescribed response and the offer was to fund the trip not book it or otherwise. The only two stipulations were that any person responding must be a journalist, and that they were claiming that Sweden was safe.

My name is James Patrick and I am known by the name J.J. Patrick as well. My twitter handle is @j_amesp. I have been a prominent blogger since 2012 and now own and run the small publishing house Cynefin Road, which produces books and a quarterly ‘zine’ themed around world events. I have written as a journalist for the popular Justice Gap website and am currently writing journalistic articles for widely read The Common Space website in Scotland. I am a journalist and published author. I am also a prominent international expert and speaker on crime figures, most recently in Mexico - November 2016 - where my report was broadly published in the national media.

Throughout the 19th of February 2017 starting at 08.39am, I had already begun to openly challenge President Donald Trump’s account of a ‘terror attack’ in Sweden, highlighting both a low-level neo-nazi attack in January 2017, and the fact that an attack on a Turkish community centre had taken place on the date of his Florida rally a year earlier. Throughout the 20th I continued to debunk myths on safety in Sweden, highlighting the differences between their crime recording practice and the rest of the world.

I am a journalist. I was claiming that Sweden was safe a day before the offer was made. Therefore I have fulfilled the two stipulations to Watson’s unilateral offer.

At 06:09am (US Twitter time) on the 20th of February 2017, I replied to Watson’s offer by quoting his tweet (a notification mechanism), using the words “Paypal please”. This was a clear and unambiguous acceptance of Watson’s offer to “pay for travel costs & accommodation”, giving a popular method of payment in order for the transaction to be completed. This was around two hours after his offer and over two hours before he confirmed a payment amount and verified that the offer had been genuine.

Being suitably qualified, I have also accepted in full Watson’s offer. He has never replied.

Watson's offer does not say one journalist. It says “any journalist”. Funding one journalist does not resolve his unilateral offer, nor absolve him of carrying the contract through with any other responding parties.

I have researched the costs involved in travel to Malmo and accommodation in a variety of its troubled districts. Flights cost upwards of £550 and accommodation and expenses go beyond £500, but balancing this with Watson’s own committed payment of $2,000 a fair estimate of the value of such a trip – though the length of stay is not stipulated – is £1,000.

I have given due consideration to cases such as the Hoover Flights case of 1992 – a unilateral contract offering – and the well-known case of the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, all of which were put forwards by prominent legal figures and practitioners. Watson’s offer falls well within the established concepts of unilateral contract.

As a matter of principle, I am seeking to commence small claims court proceedings against Watson for breach of contract, and aim to pursue a claim of £1,000 on the grounds set out above.

The cost of initiating proceedings is £89 and I will also need to cover copying, administration, and other costs. Should any surplus remain in any funds raised, I will be donating them, split 50/50 between Swedish refugee and rape charities. Should the case be successful, the damages awarded will be put to the same split of charities.

I hope you can see fit to support this cause.

I note that many journalists replied to the unilateral offer in the same way and would urge them to take similar, or class action.


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