San Francisco taxi drivers protested outside Uber's headquarters earlier this week, when attendees of the US Conference of Mayors took a tour of the ride-hail company's Market Street office. According to 48 Hills, the protest jammed up traffic and brought out a large police presence, but the disruption was nothing compared to what's happening in France.
According to the Associated Press, French taxi drivers are smashing cars, lighting fires, and blocking highways as part of a nationwide taxi strike specifically aimed at Uber. The drivers object to UberPop, the startup's cheapest service in France. Per the AP:
Taxi drivers justified their rage, saying Uber’s lowest-cost service UberPop was ruining their livihoods.
Despite repeated rulings against it and an October law that explicitly outlaws UberPop, its drivers continue to ply French roads and the American ride-hailing company is actively recruiting drivers and passengers alike. Uber claims to have a total of 400,000 customers a month in France.
Twitter users around France shared photos of the mayhem.
[jump] Among those inconvenience by the labor strife was Courtney Love, who unleashed a Twitter storm detailing her ordeal.
In a series of tweets, Love wrote:
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
François Hollande where are the fucking police??? is it legal for your people to attack visitors? Get your ass to the airport. Wtf???
paid some guys on motorcycles to sneak us out, got chased by a mob of taxi drivers who threw rocks, passed two police and they did nothing
On Instagram, she referred to the strikers as a “French Taliban.”