The taxi drivers expressed their hatred of Uber through mass protests in Paris and other French cities today. Like taxi drivers in other cities around the world, they say Uber is putting them out of business with their low-cost drivers.
Around 2,800 taxi drivers took to the streets Thursday to protest the company's UberPOP service, which employs drivers without the special licenses required to drive a taxi.
Protestors stopped cars they suspected were driven by unlicensed UberPOP drivers, burned tires, and set overturned vehicles ablaze, the Independent reports. Cabbies filled the roads to barricade access to the highways surrounding the capital. Police reportedly fired tear gas on striking cab drivers.
"The goal is to block space because we are really fed up," Karim Asnoun, a member of the CGT labor union, told Agence France Presse.
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It also happened to be the day Courtney Love was arriving in Paris. Caught up in the protests, she wrote:
The protests shut down road access to Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, with authorities directing people to take trains instead, Reuters reports.
Love posted photos from inside the taxi she was taking in to the city, along with a stream of tweets calling for French police—and even French President Francois Hollande—to intervene:
Finally, she said she paid two motorcyclists to drive her away from the riots.
Others posted photos of upturned cars in the streets
UberPOP was nearly banned by the French government toward the end of last year before a court ruled to temporarily protect the service. Last month, an Italian court banned UberPOP in Italy; Germany and the Netherlands have also banned the service.
The ban is back on the agenda after the protest, with France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve calling for the service to be shut down, Reuters reports.