French anti-Uber riots turn violent as Paris taxi drivers burn cars, attack Uber drivers

By midian182 · 18 replies
Jun 25, 2015
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  1. french anti-uber paris uber french uber riots uberpop uberx

    Up to 2800 French taxi drivers took part in nationwide protests on Thursday as part of their ongoing dispute with Uber. Protesters in Paris blocked roads to airports and train stations, burned tires and turned over cars, while some cabbies went as far as attacking Uber drivers and setting fire to their vehicles. The situation escalated to the point where riot police intervened with tear gas. Authorities reported that 70 cars were damaged and several police officials were injured in the protests. Ten people were arrested.

    Singer Courtney Love was also caught up in the protests, live-tweeting an attack on her vehicle en route to the airport. In one message, Love tweeted: “They’ve ambushed our car and are holding our driver hostage. They’re beating the cars with metal bats. This is France? I’m safer in Baghdad.” She then called on the French President to step in: “François Hollande where are the ******* police??? Is it legal for your people to attack visitors? Get your *** to the airport.”

    Taxi drivers in France have a long-held animosity towards Uber, particularly their UberPOP service, which puts users in touch with a network of non-professional drivers at prices lower than those of French cabs. Registered cabbies argue that because Uber drivers don't have to pay the same steep licensing fees that they do (a one time fee can cost up to $270,000), this gives the San Francisco-based company an unfair competitive advantage. They also claim the service is endangering their jobs due the abundance of low-cost drivers.

    A new law that came into effect in January effectively banned UberPOP in France, but it has proved difficult to enforce and the service continues to operate in a gray legal area. While many French officials have said the service is illegal, the courts have allowed it to continue, pending a ruling from a constitutional court which began deliberating the case on Tuesday. The protester's main demand is a block on Uber's smartphone app, rendering the service inoperable.

    french anti-uber paris uber french uber riots uberpop uberx

    Following the protests, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve issued a statement asking police to issue a decree making UberPOP illegal for a second time. He added that only a court order can make the Uber app illegal in France. Officials pointed out that out of the 50,000 taxi drivers in the country, only a small percentage took part in these demonstrations.

    This is not the first violent incident against Uber from enraged taxi drivers in France. In recent weeks nearly 100 of the company's drivers have been attacked, even some customers have been assaulted for using the service. The company issued this statement regarding Thursday's incident:

    “Uber firmly condemns the recent acts of violence against Uber partners and their cars, perpetrated today in Paris and in other French cities; whatever the anger, violence is never acceptable."

    Permalink to story.

  2. A citizen makes a transaction with another citizen in good faith. How that can be illegal? When the transactions for sexual activity are not illegal can be illegal the transactions for transport activity?
    deemon likes this.
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    "Things are deemed illegal whenever one citizen cannot compete with another in the same market. The intuitive response is to operate in another market or join the competitor. The savvy move is to send wave after wave of your own lawyers into battle until the competition hits its designated loss limit." - Zapp Brannigan
    TadMSTR likes this.
  4. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    If uber is a good service, maybe the regular cab drivers should just hire a tech guy to promote their taxi service 'ulder' via the web and compete directly against uber.
    otherwise, they might as well carry torches and pitchforks for doing unlawful acts against another company.

    I agree though with their sentiments. everybody must get a license to provide cab service. if uber drivers don't have 'business license', then they CANNOT provide the service.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    stewi0001 likes this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    So why did this singer whoever she is not call the prez or his right hand man directly? If she's so well known you would've she would've had some influential peoples numbers on speed dial. Why tweet about it? The rest of the world aren't going to concern themselves with a few disgruntled french citizens.
  6. I feel everyone is forgetting something very impotent here. taxi drivers have to pay the city crazy amount of money to operate while Uber drivers don't have to.
  7. Etiennez

    Etiennez TS Rookie

    Pretty much. Imagine the novel idea... Group A makes their living off of public roads, they are taxed so that these roads can be maintained, improved upon etc. Group B makes their living off of public roads too, they do not contribute to their upkeep and maintenance. Why on earth would Group A be angry? I wonder...
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    Meanwhile Group C (the ones with their own car) contributes just as much to road destruction. With that thought in mind why must either group pay anything?
    SirChocula likes this.
  9. The taxi cartels are going to get free-marketed right in the @$$ and they aren't enjoying it. Here in the US taxes on fuel and in my locale there is a wheel tax levied. So anyone operating a motor vehicle is taxed to upkeep roads.

    The taxi drivers are right to be upset that they are forced to pay some absurd amount to operate. They want Uber to pay the same fee, I think the solution is to abolish the fee and watch them cry like babies as their little union of cabbies is put out of business.
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    This. Taxi companies have enjoyed great insulation from competition for decades due to the prohibitive regulatory environment. Significantly lowering the barriers to entry kills two birds with one stone: cab companies will be on equal footing, travelers will have more options.
    Adhmuz and cliffordcooley like this.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    Super "YES" to the previous two comments.
  12. agb81

    agb81 TS Booster Posts: 78   +38

    Because Group A gets the benefits from Group B while operating as if it were Group C?

    * Average Joes pay taxes and some of them go to roads maintenance. They use roads for commuting.
    * Taxi drivers pay taxes and fees because they use roads more and therefore more money should be applied to roads maintenance.
    * Uber drivers might give roads as much use as taxi drivers but they only pay in taxes what an average Joe does.
  13. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    And group D is wondering why he still has to pay exorbitant cab prices when an obviously cheaper alternative is available, while taxi drivers are desperately clinging to their antiquated system that is being phased out. You can ***** and moan, and get all the court orders and other BS you want, but at the end of the day you can't stop progress. This is akin to newspapers crying foul because millions of bloggers can report the news, etc. much faster and for free, using modern technology (ie. the internet).
    SirChocula and cliffordcooley like this.
  14. How will they protest "Driver-Less Cars"?
  15. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    I was wondering the same thing, if they are rioting because of cheaper Uber what will they do when those self driving taxis show up and put them out of a job completely? I think at that point Uber drivers and Taxi drivers will unite to destroy the self driving menace to their paychecks.
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,728   +3,701

    There are many more jobs that have already been replaced by robotics. Taxi drivers are simply next on the list. This dispute between Taxi and Uber is a topic of its own not related to robotics.
  17. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    I might not able to speak for outside of Montreal, but around here I find the Taxi's are mostly the immigrant type, don't speak either of the languages here, drive like complete *** holes (not signaling, swerving in and out of the designated Taxi lanes, driving too slow, driving way too fast) I can't say that I have seen one behave normally on the road. Then it cost an arm and a leg to use the service, thank you but no thank you, Uber is just a better service for the consumer in too many ways for people to not want to use it. I honestly don't think the "Taxi License" makes them better drivers given my experiences with them, they use GPS now anyways so actually knowing where your going is almost not important anymore. The sooner they can be phased out by a modern equivalent the better.

    "In recent weeks nearly 100 of the company's drivers have been attacked, even some customers have been assaulted for using the service."

    Because what says come ride in my Taxi more than assaulting your would be customers, and they question why people have been turning away and going elsewhere... Bunch of bloody morons.
  18. No kind of licence will make someone a better driver. I was (until retirement) a licensed driving instructor (it's illegal to charge for this without a licence). I wasn't a better driver; I merely knew the law a bit better, but mainly was a more self-critical driver.
  19. gsteele531

    gsteele531 TS Rookie

    Many are familiar with the now often pejorative term “Luddite”, used to reference a person who is resistive to progress. The term originated in reference to 19 th century textile workers in England who smashed looms and other machinery that they felt were jeopardizing their livelihood by replacing their manual labor with automation. It is often referred to in the context of businesses that are overrun by new technology that they didn’t see coming and adapt to, such as buggy whip makers at the onset of the era of the automobile, etc.

    Naturally, those caught napping by the rise of this inventive entrepreneurial enterprise rail against its “unfair” competitive practices – just as 19 th century Luddites would have, were they to have been in the cab business. The fact is that innovation’s primary nature – irresistible creative destruction of the status quo – has once again made obsolete or rendered marginal an entrenched, but less responsive service by provision of the hallmark qualities of technical innovation: better, cheaper, faster. And the cab companies would be well disposed to observe and adapt rather than launch a politically-based war against the inevitable. Stone-tipped arrows, anyone?

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