When liberals meet innovation sometimes the results are not peaceful. Last week, unionized taxi drivers in France held a day of protest over Uber’s new low-cost service: UberPOP. The new service draws over 400,000 customers a month in France, says Uber.
The protest was not pretty. Riot police chased protesters from Paris streets, where they torched tires in the middle of roadways, swarmed onto highway exit ramps, blocked traffic, and vandalized cars.
Seven police officers were injured, and over 70 cars damaged. An American in Paris, who happened to be riding in an Uber car, was none other than the rock star Courtney Love. Reporting that her car had been ambushed, she tweeted: “They’re beating the cars with metal bats. This is France?? I’m safer in Baghdad.”
The way the French government reacted to the taxi riots was reminiscent of our own Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the beloved Mayor of Baltimore. She said of her rioters: “We also gave those who wished to destroy … space to do that as well.”
Instead of condemning the riots, the French Interior Minister met with unions and then he threatened Uber. Calling their business model illegal, he warned that unless Uber shuts down, the French government would seize their cars.
Oblivious to the irony, the French Interior Minister declared: “The government will never accept the law of the jungle.” Hey, too late, buddy. The law of the jungle, that’s how liberals govern, all over the world.