Opponents of a proposed sugary drink tax staged a loud protest outside Philadelphia City Hall Wednesday afternoon.

They were sending a message to City Council members.

They said it in Spanish and Chinese, while Councilman Al Taubenberger delivered the anti-tax message in English.

"If we pass this tax, you are going to see the greatest bootlegging operation since Prohibition," he warned.

Several hundred protesters punctuated by horn-honking truckers signaled their solidarity with   Taubenberger's position, telling the councilman's colleagues that they are against the 3-cents-per-ounce levy.  

"The Teamsters stand to lose 2,000 regional jobs if this tax is passed," said Danny Grace, the head of Teamsters Local 830.

A Kenney administration spokesman disputed that prediction, saying there are only 2,000 Teamsters in the entire region.

Mayor Jim Kenney proposed the tax as a way of raising millions to cover the costs of citywide pre-K and improvements to city libraries and recreational facilities.

Kenney's spokesman said the mayor still believes the tax will be approved by City Council.