Backlash Against Soda Ban Loses Momentum

July 9, 2012 Updated: July 24, 2012
New York Councilman Dan Halloran, joined by two women in soft-drink cup costumes, speaks against Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban
New York Councilman Dan Halloran, joined by two women in soft-drink cup costumes, speaks against Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban, which will limit the cup size people can buy at restaurants. The protest was held near City Hall in New York on July 9. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—A small crowd gathered at the “Million Big Gulp March” at City Hall Park Monday to protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed 16-ounce soda ban.

“I’m Zack Huff. This is my first event. I am 19 years old,” said the spokesman and organizer of NYC Liberty HQ, which coordinated the event.

The participants were not all necessarily pro-soda, but all felt that the ban endangered their liberty.

“From how much salt we can put in our foods, [to] how much drinks we can buy,” the government is taking too much control of people’s lives, Huff said.

New York City Councilman Dan Halloran said Bloomberg was concentrating on issues of lesser importance.

“The crime statistics we just got in shows that violent crime in NYC is up,” Halloran said. “More people have been shot this year than any point in the last 10 years.”

Eric Moor from Staten Island drinks an Extreme Gulp from 7-Eleven filled with Gatorade to protest Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban in Manhattan on July 9
Eric Moor from Staten Island drinks an Extreme Gulp from 7-Eleven filled with Gatorade to protest Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban in Manhattan on July 9. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito said the obesity issue is being addressed ineffectively. The government should focus on education and after-school programs. “Our agencies are very strapped, who is going to enforce this ban?” she said.

Although not many advocates could make it to the march, one man showed up to protest against the protesters. He did not come with an organization. “This has nothing to do with liberty, if Bloomberg said you can’t protest against my decision, then I would say he is against liberty,” said Roman Shusterman, 31, who works in real estate.

Bloomberg is proposing to enforce a limit on the cup size people can buy at restaurants in the city to 16 ounces or less. He hopes the ban would help fight the city’s obesity epidemic.

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