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article imageUber cars attacked during French taxi-driver protest

By Michael Thomas     Jan 13, 2014 in World
Paris - A protest by French taxi drivers against smartphone taxi service Uber recently turned violent, with reports of people smashing Uber vehicles.
Uber was just recently legalized in Paris, Gawker reports. Last week, CEO Travis Kalanick made comments indicating that Uber would be implenting aggressive price cuts that would undermine local taxis and other services like Lyft or Sidecar.
Le Monde (French language) reports that over concerns of lost work, about 5,000 taxi drivers staged a protest in Paris, as well as Marseille , Bordeaux , Montpellier and Lyon. Taxi drivers' unions are also calling for stricter regulations on Uber service.
The strikes quickly ceased being peaceful, as the Verge reported Uber cars attacked outside two of Paris' main airports. Kat Borlongan, co-founder of consulting firm Five by Five, said that while she was traveling in her Uber car, protesters threw rocks and paint at the windshield before smashing the passenger window and slashing a tire.
Borlongan confirmed the attack via Twitter, mentioning that the car driver was able to change the tire on a freeway and get her home safely.
Renaud Visage, CTO of Eventbrite and a photographer, told the Verge that a blockade of taxis allowed only one lane for cars to pass through, and any that did would be attacked as they went along.
"The police were there, but they were just watching," he said. "They were not actively doing anything."
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