Southern Brooklyn

Saturday: On Brighton Beach Boardwalk, Smokers To Protest Latest Ban


Angry New Yorkers will gather on the Brighton Beach section of the Riegelmann Boardwalk on Saturday, where they’ll send smoke signals to lawmakers and anti-smoking advocates who pushed the latest expansion of anti-smoking laws.

The smoke-in is organized by the New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.), a group formed to “end the discrimination against smokers by exposing the anti-smoking lies.” It will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, on the boardwalk at Brighton 6th Street.

Of course, smoking in that location is now illegal, according to an expanded public smoking ban that went into effect yesterday. Smoking is banned in parks, beaches, public marinas and piers, boardwalks, pedestrian malls, bicycle and greenways, and any other property owned and maintained by the New York City Parks Department.

Local smokers should note that this is a city law pertaining to city parkland, but at federal parkland, such as at Floyd Bennett Field or Plumb Beach, one may still leisurely smoke a stogie. In fact, truly spiteful residents can stand on the federally-owned and -maintained sand at Plumb Beach and blow smoke onto the New York City Parks Department-owned greenway adjacent to the beach and that would be completely legal. No one would like you, but it would be legal. And somewhat funny.

But back to the protest on the boardwalk. It’s not a protest. Or a rally. Here’s C.L.A.S.H.’s explanation:

This is not a “protest” or “rally” per se (Ed. – I just said that.).  It’s not the intent on THIS day to call for repeal or to simply demonstrate that we are angry (and then fall into line).  This is an invitation for friends to get together like any other day at the beach to illustrate that this law will be paid the respect it deserves.

When a law is just so wrong — enacted on the whim of the biased with the power to do so who cannot be reasoned with — there can be only the last resort in order to effect change:  civil disobedience.   There is NO sound scientific basis for this law…  Nor any social basis other than our country’s founders’ frowned upon “mob rule.”  When 75% of the population doesn’t smoke then it would be an abomination to put such a policy to a vote by the people.  It’s then we need to rely on the merits of Representative Government where the people we elect to office are under an obligation not to vote on an emotion or personal preference and to consider equal protection of the minority.  They are expected to weigh all the evidence without bias and base their vote on an intellectually arrived at conclusion.  Yet the majority of the body of the City Council acted no better than “the mob.”

Are you planning on attending?

Comment policy


  1. Damn, I will not be around, unfortunately. I honestly do not think that this will be enforced…similar to the jaywalking law. I wonder if everyone who shows up to this “meeting” will be fined…

  2. as a former smoker, i can completely understand why everyone is upset over this, however, now that i have been smoke free for almost 2 years and expecting, i highly appreciate the smoking ban in these places because it is just not cool blowing smoke into other peoples faces and having children at parks and beaches exposed to it as well.. granted many times its unintentional but its still absolutely disgusting.

  3. HEY Smokers! tuff shit, should think about quitting and saving $12 a pack so you can stop complaining shit costs a lot of money and that you don’t have money to pay for it.

    Also, i as well am a Former smoker, in fact i smoked for nearly 9 years of my life… i started smoking when cig’s cost $3.45 and remember when they raised them to 6 how everyone complained i quit back in 2007 before they got hit for $9 a pack. but now $12 and people are complaining about bans are you kidding me….

  4. I thought there was a ban in Federal parks because of the threat of forest fires.

    Of course, there isn’t a forest in Floyd Bennett Field.

  5. Parts of it are supposed to be a “protected preserve”. Including sections of the “Marine Park” unit. I do know that marsh fires used to be rather common there years ago. I was almost trapped in one a long time ago.

  6. When you act publicly, giving notice to the authorities that you intend on a form of civil disobedience there is an increased likelihood that there will be police presence, and the police may decide to enforce the law. They may also arrest people for having an unlawful assembly if the numbers are large enough and the organizers have failed to obtain the necessary permits. That does depend greatly on whether they intend to stay in one place or keep moving.

  7. C.L.A.S.H is implying that this act of civil disobedience is on a par with the lunch counter sit-ins staged by freedom riders decades ago, or perhaps like the pot smoke-ins that have been occurring around the country since the sixties.  But, in reality, it is more like drunks protesting laws against public urination or perverts demanding the right to masturbate under the boardwalk.  I suppose these people also think it’s couth to hock lugies and blow their noses on a public sidewalk or not pick-up after their dog.  Let them have their day and go down fighting as they did with indoor smoking bans.  If they play their cards right, perhaps the city will eventually cut them some slack, tweak the statute, and provide areas in which they can indulge their addiction without inflicting it on anyone else.
    But protecting people from secondhand smoke isn’t merely the law, it’s a good idea that will make our recreational environments safer and healthier for everyone.  Any perceived right of smokers to smoke in public is trumped by the fundamental right of non-smokers to breathe fresh air, as fresh as nature intended it to be.  Isn’t that why we have parks, beaches, and other open spaces?  Opponents to the ban keep reminding us that all of the city’s air is polluted, so why single out secondhand smoke?  That’s precisely the reason why we do it, because it’s one kind of behavior-driven pollution that we can identify and do something about, and one that affects so many of us, and our loved ones, on a deeply personal level.

    The tobacco industry launched a campaign a few years ago suggesting that smokers and non-smokers use common courtesy to resolve conflicts. It has had mixed results.  Imagine this:SMOKER:  “Do you mind if I smoke?”NON-SMOKER:  “Not at all, my friend, do you mind if I throw up on your shoes?”Rights, even fundamental ones, are not absolute, and they entail responsibilities toward the rights of others.  Just as it would be wrong to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, it is irresponsible to light up on a crowded beach or boardwalk when it would interfere with the health and peaceful enjoyment of others, especially children, the elderly, and people with respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.  But smokers, too, have an illness, an addiction for which they need help, and there is plenty of help available if they want it.  All they need is the willingness, and courage to change.  Change is what this law is all about, a change for the better for everyone.

  8. i wish the government would protect me from your second hand retarded ideas and make it illegal for you to talk in public. if you are serious about your “right” to breath fresh air;  cars, factories, and apparently BBQing should be illegal as well. you are insane if you think you aren’t getting fresh air because someone is smoking outside near you.

    are you one of those nutter who are against music with foul language and games with sex and violence in them?

    sorry, i just really despise people who try to make me less free in america

  9. HEY poor person! just because you can afford to continue doing something you enjoy and probably get jealous watching others doing it willy nilly. THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO RIGHT TO STICK THEIR NOSES IN OUT PERSONAL BUSINESS TO MAKE MORE MONEY BY TICKETING PEOPLE.

    I wonder what you would say  if they started to ban/tkting people for reading books with offensive titles in public.

    why are so many people giant babies and want the government to hold their hands in every aspect of THEIR lives!?

  10. you have many valid points. and all those points lead me to saying FUCK THE POLICE/GOV. when the fuck did people EVER need a fucking legal document to ASSEMBLE? (i know they need it now, because our government is pissed scared of an uprising. too bad americans are all fucking sheep and prefered to suck on the governments tit and completely BRAINWASHED by media)

    also, just show up and do what our politicians do when they get backed into a corner by the law. just say “i do not know, i do not recall, i have no idea”

    PS if any cops show up to this and ticket people, i hope there is an uprising and we cut off their heads. its the only way for “the man” to get the idea and leave us the fuck alone!

  11. Let me explain a bit, i work in the Commercial industry,  and am tired of customers complaining how expensive the Signs we make them are, then go outside and light up a cig….. 

    so they have money to offered something that kills them gradually, but don’t want to spend money on something that will make them money over time….

  12. As I have been telling people for awhile, the time may come soon when there will be a real need for an uprising against a government that will resemble a constitutional republic in name only. That is not alarmism, that is the end result of what is happening right now. I shudder to think of what we will be considering important two years from now, our freedoms are under attack, our right to the simple proposition of the “pursuit of life liberty and happiness is being taken from us, and most people do not see what is happening, or become foolish pawns in the game of chess that a small powerful minority of people are playing against the rest of us. 

    The plan is to divide us over issues. As we can’t act as one we are ineffective. The Tea Party fails to recognize that they have as much to lose in the end as every other American.

    Still, watch what is happening in the Mideast because it is the prelude to what may well have to happen here. Look even to Wisconsin. We may have to take to the streets to get our country back. 

  13. Main reason i quit, i couldn’t fall asleep one night, i couldn’t breathe…..
    next day got patches. and 2 weeks later i didn’t even have cravings, considering that i fucked myself up with the patches, (didn’t read the directions! LOL) kept putting those sucka’z in the same spot ( BIG NO NO)

  14. the tea party was hijacked (from ron paul) a long time ago by some nutty republicans. we are basically a screwed society right now. the industrial military complex runs us right now using the hand of the corporation. the elite politicians laugh as they talk about doing shit for the people as they are being bought up by the uber rich war mongers. the media has brainwashed us into thinking all this bullshits real.  we are completely distracted from the real issues. oh well, america, fuck yeah.

  15. the tea party was hijacked (from ron paul) a long time ago by some nutty republicans. we are basically a screwed society right now. the industrial military complex runs us right now using the hand of the corporation. the elite politicians laugh as they talk about doing shit for the people as they are being bought up by the uber rich war mongers. the media has brainwashed us into thinking all this bullshits real.  we are completely distracted from the real issues. oh well, america, fuck yeah.

  16. the tea party was hijacked (from ron paul) a long time ago by some nutty republicans. we are basically a screwed society right now. the industrial military complex runs us right now using the hand of the corporation. the elite politicians laugh as they talk about doing shit for the people as they are being bought up by the uber rich war mongers. the media has brainwashed us into thinking all this bullshits real.  we are completely distracted from the real issues. oh well, america, fuck yeah.

  17. So, your support for this law lays on the basis that you’re annoyed about people complaining of the price of your signs? This is why the government should tell me, you, your and my children what to do? It’s hard to get cigarettes underage in this city; and if you can, it’ll be a 16 or 17 year old kid anyway – the kind of situation where if they want to smoke badly enough, they will once they are legal regardless of provisions standing against them.
    It’s also not your position to dwell into the budgeting of your clients and other smokers – I’m CERTAIN you have never been underpaid by a client because their funds were too tied up with their smoking habits. Even in the event that you were, this is not a reason to write an anti-smoking law into legislature. I can use the same question of you… Why are your signs so expensive, yet you have the money to enjoy many of the small luxuries you enjoy?
    The government isn’t here to babysit you.

  18. It didn’t start out that way. We had a long run of taking on those who would deprive us of the rights promised us when we took up arms against Britain (twice) and formed a unified government, one that respected the rights of those whose views or practices we disagreed or were uncomfortable with. But while we moved forward we also moved backward. Eventually though, we reached a point where the people started to have some real power. This didn’t sit well with some people, so we have seen an erosion for the past 30 years of everything we have gained as a society. In 1977 I would have never guessed that we would have reached this low point.

  19. Its the weirdest thing the politicians and military/police work for us the people that pay taxes and they tell us what we can and cant do. This comes back to my question about the right to bear arms. Lets say worst case scenario the financial markets crumble and there are riots in the streets and total chaos. Do you want to be left holding a broom stick? Nick is right the people who run this country want us to be sheep. The people that need to get together and do something the most are broken and the ones who can actually do something dont give a fuck. 

  20. Broom stick? Hell no. I’ve got one of these:

  21. Most of them do however, see you need to understand that if you only have 20 bucks in your pocket and you want a Big sign which costs 40, and you don’t want to limit yourself to a paper sign cause you know paper is gonna rip in a month, but you want to save that 20 cause you need to buy smokes for yourself which harm you as a Buyer for not only Signs, but for food, and alcohol and gas and anything else that person buys and spends money on….  Everyone knows what Cig’s do to people, however i don’t want to hear your shit about how you don’t have money to afford a sign yet afford a pack of death.

    I think people forget that Without a sign telling other people there is a SALE 50% everything must go,  people won’t make $$$ to buy there cig’s

  22. You want fresh air move to the mountains or something. You think someone walking outside smoking is worse than a car passing you as you walk. You are out of your fucking mind.

  23. In the event of a total breakdown in government (which is not outside of the realm of possibility) the laws won’t matter. There will be guns because there will riots, and lootings. We can only hope that there will be an organized resistance against the totalitarian government that will be the end result of a meltdown. 

    Times have changed. We may have to rethink some of our values. I certainly hope that the worst does not come to pass but we do have to consider the possibility.

  24. A lot of us are “mad as hell” right now. And the time is coming when large numbers of people will decide that they’re “not going to take it anymore”.

  25. We (as commercial industry) are in the business in making you money,  But first, we need to make money ourselves.

    same reason goes for me working in a Gas station, i surely wouldn’t want to lose you as a Potential buyer if your in the hospital with an Air tube down your throat…. 

    that would make me a Sad panda 🙁

  26. I’ve been hearing this for a long time. I used to believe it, but I don’t believe it now. And, if/when it comes to pass, it will NOT be a good thing. With the exception of the American Revolution, just about every other major uprising throughout history has left everything worse for wear. One of the reasons I got into local journalism – after doing city, trade and international -is that I believe the weaknesses (either in power or morality) of our national institutions are directly tied to our lack of civic engagement, and that civic engagement starts at your doorstep. Stop with the revolution nonsense. Make your neighborhood better. Affect many small changes, and lead by example. Others will follow, and the broad change you seek will happen.

    And now I bid the soapbox adieu.

  27. Who is going to have guns? Criminals. If legit people cant get guns now where the hell would they get them if the shit hits the fan? You can apply for a permit and it will take 8-12 months to get approved. Then your good. Most people will never do that and there are far more illegal guns in this city than legitimate guns. Im moving to Canada.

  28. i think the reason this came into effect is cause a lot of assholes who smoke at the beach tend to leave there shit after they leave, and it eventually either ends up in kids hands, or in the ocean…. Not to mention, kids running around jumping playing, don’t think they want their kids exposed to Smoke.   

    However i agree with your statement, not getting enough air we LIVE in air…..

    I don’t mind people smoking around me.

  29. i heart that movie. yeah, there is no hope. i guess evolve or die, and try to be happy while you do it. keep as much control as possible and don’t lose your head 😛

    or become an elite, screw people over, lie to them, be greedy, make money, die rich (and probably with a boner) 🙂

  30. No, it will not be a good thing. I am hoping that it does not come down to this. But we have been down this path before. You might have read Fredrick Lewis Allen’s “Since Yesterday”. Lewis is somewhat subdued, but he did illustrate how FDR co-opted many of the ideas that were being put forward by groups led by charismatic individuals such as Huey Long or Gerald K Smith in order to quell the fires of revolution. A total economic collapse would put us pretty much where we were in 1935. 

    Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here” was taken rather seriously as a possible scenario.

  31. Also, we don’t over price on our signs, in fact most people end up coming back to us cause we are professional in what we do also on a small note, we’ve been here since 1995.  Just most people want everything for free thats all LOL.  and i don’t blame them.  what can i do? haha

  32. If there is a mass uprising the “people” will liberate the weapons. This scenario will transpire if events continue along its current course without proper intervention. I the past we’ve managed to avoid such extremes.

  33. It require a bit of quick thinking. I did manage to even avoid excessive smoke inhalation. I made my way towards the beach in as direct a fashion as was possible.

  34. Also a study was done. Most kids who start smoking have parents who are smokers or grew up with parents who are smokers, which is true i see it more and more…

    My parents were smokers too, hence why i wanted to smoke,  who can forget the first cig in the morning….mmmm… got ol days

  35. I used to think that the only way the beat those who would take our rights away would be to become as powerful as they are. Ah, but that’s not easily done.

  36. Well I will all invite you to come to my Starbucks at 607 Brighton beach afterwards for a refresher! ^_^

  37. We is bad. Very bad we is!

    Coffee and cigarettes are a great combination.

    But you can’t smoke in a Starbucks. Or any other food establishment for that matter.

    That sucks!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here