Happy Thanksgiving!

If you’re thinking about celebrating this Thanksgiving by dressing up as a turkey and protesting the commercialism of holidays, you should first read People v. Pettigrew, 69 Misc. 2d 985, 332 N.Y.S.2d 33 (Dist. Ct. Suffolk Cty. 1972).

In that case,

defendant was arrested and charged with committing the offense of disorderly conduct in violation of Sec. 240.20 of the [New York] Penal Law. The defendant, dressed as a turkey, in conjunction with another, dressed as Santa Claus, was making speeches and handing out literature criticizing the commercialism of Christmas, the American involvement in the Vietnam War, the Kent State incident, racial inequality, and other matters. This conduct caused crowds of 75 to 100 people to gather, subsequently increasing to about 150 blocking the sidewalk and causing the blockage of part of the street, to the extent that both pedestrian and vehicular traffic were impeded. Moreover, police authorities asked the defendant to move on, which request was refused. (Emphasis added.)

The court found the defendant guilty of disorderly conduct.

So put that turkey costume away and have a wonderful Thanksgiving! (My colleague Eric Turkewitz apparently didn’t get the memo, but he doesn’t appear to be causing any problems…)

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