By AFP www.khaleejtimes.com
Paris — Protests against ride-booking app Uber turned violent in France on Thursday as taxi drivers set fire to vehicles and blocked major roads.
American rocker Courtney Love was caught up in the demonstrations when a vehicle she was travelling in outside Paris was attacked.
Around 3,000 cabbies took part in the strike, blocking access to the capital’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, and preventing cars reaching train stations around the country.
Ten people were arrested, seven police officers were injured and 70 vehicles were damaged in clashes between Uber drivers and taxi drivers.
The service, known as UberPOP, has been illegal in France since January, but the law has proved difficult to enforce and it continues to operate.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after meeting taxi drivers’ unions following a fraught day: “UberPOP is an illegal service, it must be closed down.”
Until that was done, “the vehicles of UberPOP drivers should be systematically impounded when they are openly breaking the law”, the minister said.
“Governing the country will never be done by the law of the jungle,” Cazeneuve added.
One of the taxi drivers’ representatives, Ibrahima Sylla, described the minister’s words as “promises, again” and said the drivers were considering continuing the demonstrations.
Love, Kurt Cobain’s widow, was caught up in a confrontation near Charles de Gaulle airport. More info