On June 25, the American rocker and actress Courtney Love’s car was ambushed by French taxi drivers protesting against UBER in Paris. The actress tweeted that protesters held her driver hostage and were hitting nearby cars with metal bars.
“[…]they’re beating the cars with metal bats. this is France?? I’m safer in Baghdad!,”
Ms. Love wrote in another Tweet.
She also urged the President of France François Hollande to get his “ass to the airport” and asked for police help. In a previous tweet she told Kanye West to take cover with her at the airport.
French taxi drivers staged one of the most violent protests against the taxi app firm. Though, the UberPop service was discontinued in France in January, UberPOP drivers continue to illegally provide low-fare rides, so Paris taxi firms fear that they may soon be out of business.
Taxi drivers also blocked access to Paris’ airports and lashed out at Uber drivers and their cars. On one of the protesters T-shirts wrote that if the state won’t ban Uber taxi drivers would.
In the wake of the protests, the French interior minister ordered the police to ban Uber from the French capital. The protests debuted when taxi drivers blocked access to two airports and passengers had to walk from their Uber cars to the terminals.
The Paris Gare du Nord was also blocked and Uber cars were vandalized. Moreover, taxi drivers build up roadblocks in various locations, burned or slashed the tires, smashed the windows and even overturned cars that belonged to part-time drivers that used UberPOP application.
French taxi drivers want Uber to leave France because it represents unfair competition.
Police managed to keep taxi drivers away from Arc de Triomphe by using tear gas. Protesters said that they had families to feed and debts to pay and that was the last straw. Though Uber drivers are banned they continue to steal clients from traditional cabbies. Uber is also actively recruiting drivers for its French business.
Taxi drivers said that they have to pay up to $277,500 for their license, while Uber drivers get to get their clients for free. Last month, 100 Uber drivers reached hospital with injuries caused by taxi drivers, while a passenger was left with a black eye for lauding Uber.
Serge Metz a taxi business owner acknowledged that taxi services could be improved but unfair competition from Uber and the likes would let everyone out of business. He wondered what would happen if self-entitled lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, or mechanics with no qualification would start to offer services through the Uber app.
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