New Yorkers rally against proposed super-sized drinks ban

NEW YORK — Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that if New Yorkers want to kill themselves with sugar — that’s their right.

That was the mayor’s response Monday to a small, peaceful protest rally against a ban on big sodas on a sidewalk near City Hall Park — dubbed The Million Big Gulp March.

Bloomberg has proposed a crackdown on super-sized drinks. He wants to stop bar restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas, food carts and delis from selling sodas and other sugary drinks in servings larger than 16 ounces. He says it’s a way to fight obesity in a city that spends billions of dollars a year on weight-related health problems.

“If you want to kill yourself, I guess you have the right to do it. We’re trying to do something about it,” Bloomberg said earlier Monday, when asked about the planned rally, which eventually drew dozens of protesters.

Opponents say the city is overstepping its authority and infringing on personal freedom.

“Hands off my Bladder” read a sign hoisted by Dominic Inferrera, a singer and actor in his 30s.

“For a ban as ridiculous as this one, we need a protest with some humor,” said Inferrera, holding a Double Gulp cup he said was half filled with Powerade, half with Sprite.

For some, the issue was far from funny.

City Council Member Dan Halloran, a Republican from Queens, said Bloomberg’s stance on soda size challenged nothing less than “the principles on which our country was founded.”

Halloran, who is running for Congress, was flanked by two female campaign staffers encircled by mammoth paper cubs that said “157 oz” — a nonexistent soda size way above the typical 16- or 20-ounce containers that fall under the ban.

“This is not the way a democracy works,” he said. “When do we say enough control is enough? It’s a slippery slope. It’s not how our country was founded.”

He cited the mayor’s previous legislation linked to calories and cigarettes.

David Krakauer, a 16-year-old New York native who lives in Israel, said there’s no such soda ban in Israel. “Every person has the right to decide how much soda he can drink — not the government.”

The rally was led by the NYC Liberty HQ grass-roots group.

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read