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Anti-Uber French Taxi Drivers Are Burning Tires And Overturning Cars

The cabbies have also blocked access to motorway exits, railway stations, and airports.

Last updated on June 25, 2015, at 12:54 p.m. ET

Posted on June 25, 2015, at 8:39 a.m. ET

French taxi drivers are on strike throughout the country to protest against UberPop, one of the services offered by the American online cab-hailing service Uber.

Thomas Samson / Getty Images

In Paris, the cabbies blocked access to motorway exits, airports, and railway stations. Photos from news agencies and social media showed cars being overturned or vandalized.

Charles Platiau / Reuters

French media showed images of the burning tires and blockades, while police in riot gear at one point intervened using tear gas, the BBC reported.

Kenzo Tribouillard / Getty Images

The drivers are opposed to UberPop because, they say, it will bring cutthroat competition to the market.

Michel Euler / AP
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There were similar protests in other French cities such as Marseilles.

Anne-christine Poujoulat / Getty Images

In Paris, the situation escalated on Thursday morning, especially around the Porte Maillot area, with people posting pictures of vandalized cars -- some with broken windows and some overturned.

Il fait pas bon être VTC à Porte Maillot #manif #taxis #AFP

#Portemaillot #taxis (pas un VTC par ailleurs)

There were more protests around the city's international airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly. The singer Courtney Love tweeted that she got caught up in the demo and had to escape on a motorcycle when a mob attacked the car she was in.

Dude @kanyewest we may turn back to the airport and hide out with u.picketers just attacked our car #ParisUberStrike

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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

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

Some people resorted to walking to the airports to catch their flights.

Avant c'était facile d'aller à l'aéroport. #Terminal2 #PekinExpress

To cope with the situation, Paris' airports operator said it was sending out shuttles to help pedestrians reach Orly airport.

#Taxis strike: shuttles are set to bring passengers from road D7 to the terminals at #Orly airport #en

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Meanwhile, these taxi drivers in the city of Bordeaux held a peaceful protest and handed out flowers.

#E1 #Bordeaux #Manifestation #Taxis Les chauffeurs ont prévu de distribuer des fleurs aux passants

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Thursday called for a ban on UberPop in Paris, Reuters reported. An Uber spokesperson told Reuters this would override normal legal processes, under which a judge should decide whether to impose a ban.

Cazeneuve at the Interior Ministry on June 15.
Benoit Tessier / Reuters

Cazeneuve at the Interior Ministry on June 15.

Uber has several services in France but taxi drivers are chiefly annoyed about UberPop, which allows individuals to hire private drivers who charge less than a conventional taxi.

UberPop is also a more informal operation than France's private chauffeured tourism vehicles, called VTCs, which use professional drivers.

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