Angry taxi drivers closed the streets of Paris and those leading to the airport by overturning cars and setting tires on fire, as part of a nationwide protest against ride sharing company Uber, who they say is stealing their business and depressing wages.
Rock star and well known publicity hound Courtney Love Cobain even found herself caught up in the cross-fire of the violent protests.
The car in which Love was a passenger, was caught in one of the blockades. Her reaction was to take to twitter to firstly claim that her driver was being held hostage and that police were doing nothing to stop the protesters.
Abdelkader Morghad, a representative of the FTI taxi union, said taxi drivers in France were angry because over the last two years that Uber has been operating, they had lost 30 to 40 percent of their income to part-time and casual drivers who don’t earn a living from the service and can thus charge lower than market rates.
He said Uber drivers were able to offer lower fares that his union members because they did not have to pay the thousands of euros for licenses which regular taxi drivers were required to have.
The violent protests are the latest negative reaction to the aggressive company, which is embroiled in dozens of lawsuits and has been forced to exit some cities due to failure to comply with local laws.