We’ve written before about the questionable pasts of HSUS leaders Michael Markarian and Paul Shapiro. Now meet Patrick Kwan, the New York state director for HSUS. He’s the founder of the Student Animal Rights Alliance, a group which demanded total animal “liberation,” and was apparently in high enough regard that PETA published a glowing interview with him.
In the 1990s, Kwan was an organizer for the so-called New York City Animal Defense League (ADL), a radical “direct action” group. According to the NYC ADL’s publication (page 8), Kwan was arrested on multiple occasions in 1997 and charged with inciting a riot (a felony), disorderly conduct, trespass, and resisting arrest. That’s quite a record. (Kwan is listed as a contributor and photographer for the publication.)
Additionally, Kwan was reportedly arrested in Northboro, Massachusetts in 1999 for malicious destruction of property, being a disorderly person, disturbing the peace, and threatening to commit a crime. The group he was with was protesting outside the private home of a medical researcher. The Telegram & Gazette reported:
According to court documents, Akita, in his 911 call to police, said the group was chanting, "Animal rights! Hang 'em high." Akita said the group then chanted what he considered to be a direct threat: "Their freedom, your death." …
Police said all the suspects wore dark clothing or camouflage. They allegedly vandalized Akita's mailbox and smashed the rear window of a car at his house. No one was injured. …
Arrested were Patrick Kwan,18, of New York…
Here’s something else important: The NYC ADL openly declared its full support of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), an officially recognized domestic terrorist group. By 1997, ALF activists had already been involved in multiple instances of arson and deploying incendiary devices. And the NYC ADL wrote that it “does, and always will, support the Animal Liberation Front.”
According to former NYC ADL co-founder Ryan Shapiro, the group “work[ed] closely” with the DC-based Compassion Over Killing, then run by his brother Paul Shapiro (now with HSUS), and that the ADL sought to “combine…aggressive militancy” with “strategic and tactical planning.”
Interesting, the ADL’s publication also includes an interview with John “J.P.” Goodwin, then with the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade and a former “spokesperson” for the North American Animal Liberation Front. Where’s Goodwin now? He’s at HSUS with Kwan. (Kwan’s bio also states that he was “an organizer” for CAFT. And Goodwin’s employment with HSUS apparently dates to 1997.)
Interestingly, Kwan’s Student Animal Rights Alliance founded the “Demand Liberation” conference. “Demand Liberation” counted the Fund for Animals, which merged with HSUS, as a sponsor. The “Demand Liberation” speakers list for 2003 looks like a list of future HSUS leaders: Paul Shapiro, Miyun Park, Michael Greger, and Matt Prescott. The 2004 speakers list included HSUS VP Wayne Pacelle (now CEO).
Starting to see a trend? A lot of fringe activists in small, largely irrelevant groups have converged on one big, wealthy group called the Humane Society of the United States. Not that you could tell from HSUS’s fundraising appeals.
After NYC ADL dissolved, some of the activists went on to saucier endeavors. Sarahjane Blum and Ryan Shapiro were arrested for burglary and pled to misdemeanor trespassing. And separate chapters of the ADL also housed well-known radicals. The Los Angeles ADL was founded by Jerry Vlasak, who has endorsed the idea of murdering doctors who use animals in research. The Long Island ADL is described by fundamentalist No Compromise as a “grassroots animal liberation group.” And the New Jersey ADL was co-founded by Darius Fullmer, who later received a one-year prison sentence for violating the Animal Enterprise Protection Act.
We’d sure like to be a fly on the wall anytime the NYC ADL has a reunion.
Just to keep this straight: A guy who was an “organizer” for a group that openly supported terrorists and who helped organize “Liberation Now” conferences is now HSUS’s NY state director? We wonder what he sees in HSUS.