A rally will be held Monday against Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on super-sized sugary drinks.
About 1,000 protesters chanting “Drink Free Or Die” are expected to take part in the “Million Big Gulp March” in City Hall Park at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
Business owners, local politicians and others against the proposed ban are all expected to take part, according to NYC Liberty HQ spokesman Zach Huff.
“The ‘Million Big Gulp March’ is about more than just the size of drinks, it is our long-overdue response to a governing ideology that thinks it can tell us what fat we can cook with, how much popcorn we can buy, whether we can use table salt or even how much water we can bathe with and use in each flush,” Huff said in a statement. “It’s astonishing to see a pro-choice mayor be so anti-choice when it comes to trivial personal decisions.”
Bloomberg officially proposed the ban to the Board of Health last month.
The proposal would put a 16-ounce limit of sugary drinks sold at city restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts and would apply to both bottled and fountain drinks.
It would not include grocery or convenience stores that don’t serve prepared food and wouldn’t apply to diet soda, other calorie-free drinks or anything that has at least 50 percent milk or milk substitute.
Bloomberg has said the proposed ban is a way to fight obesity in New York City but opponents say the city is overstepping its bounds and infringing on personal freedom.
“It’s up to the individual and what they choose to do and how they live their life because ultimately they’re the ones who have to live with their decisions, good or bad,” said Mike Machlin who plans on attending Monday’s protest. “The freedom to choose badly is very important to the freedom to choose.”
The proposal would need approval by the Board of Health and could take effect as soon as next March if passed. The first of three public hearings is set for July 24.