France Detains Top Uber Execs After Cabbie Riots Against Peaceful Ride Service

Street violence goads French officials into physically grabbing organizers of helpful services


Ed Krayewski reported last week on some bull-goose loony fall-of-civilization style violent rioting on the part of French cabbies mad that someone dare try to outcompete them in the field  of driving for hire, in this case a new Uber service called UberPOP.

Today the French government rewards the violent folk trying to prevent other people from doing peaceful business as they and their customers choose by physically detaining a couple of top Uber execs from Europe, as reported in the UK Independent:'

The heads of the American company's European and French operations were being held in custody last night by traffic police.

The timing of the arrests will be interpreted as an attempt to appease registered taxi drivers who overturned and burned Uber cars and blocked airports and railway stations during a strike on Thursday. The arrested men, both French, were named as Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, director general of Uber in Europe, and Thibaud Simphal, director-general of Uber in France

I did a long feature for Reason last November on the so-far less violent and arrest-y fight for transportation freedom in the smartphone app age in these here United States.

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  1. You ever wonder why, with the exception of a few examples that you really have to look for, Western media seem to be skittish in publishing articles with photos that clearly show the rioting mobs of taxi drivers?

    1. You can’t let reality get in the way of narratives. Journalists have a job to do!

    2. Wouldn’t those amount to selfies?

    3. Gawker done got unionized.

  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GP5_NQ_LEs

    Maybe they could break out the guillotine next. Tyrannical pieces of shit.

  3. In a few years, I’m guessing we’ll hear about France putting its few remaining Jews into special holding facilities, for their protection.

    1. Why would anyone want to live in France right now, save for Monaco?

      1. Monoco is it’s own principality. I suspect its tax laws is why a good number of F1 drivers settle there.

        1. I suspect Monaco is tolerated by France just like Andorra is by Spain, because the megarich and elite in those countries stash all their cash there.

    2. Makes you wonder who else?…

  4. Jefferson thought France was just so much more liberty loving than the various English descended societies. He was wrong then, as now.

    1. Hey, they were plying him with sex, food, and wine. It’s hard to be on message all of the time in such conditions.

    2. A lot of English (and American) liberals had a real blind spot about the French during that time. Thomas Paine and Charles James Fox for example. Fox believed that Napoleon really wanted peace and only Pitt’s aggression was the cause of war. Paine argued that Burke put “the authority of the dead over the rights and freedom of the living” only to….draft a French Constitution.

      1. Paine later changed his tune after his arrest and scheduled execution that he escaped. To his credit he realized what France had become. From Albert Marrin’s book:

        “This is not a country for an honest man to live in. The French do not understand anything at all of the principles of free government, and the best way is to leave them for themselves”
        As for Napoleon whom he befriended earilier, Paine said Napoleon was “the completest charlatan that ever existed …. wilful, headstrong, proud, morose. Tyrants in general shed blood upon plan or from passion; he seems to have shed it only because he could not be quiet”

    3. They talked the talk better than the English at the time.

    4. The French were never a freedom-inclined people. The French Revolution reinforces that argument, despite the tendency of some to hold it up as an example of French liberalism.

      Will Durant actually argued that the revolution happened in France rather than England because it was so far behind England socially and economically, not ahead of it; the glaring backwardness of France (economically stuck in the agrarian middle ages; politically absolutist, etc.) was what provoked the revolution.

      The English monarchy has survived to this day only because the English government has historically been so much more liberal (classically liberal) and parliamentarian than the other European powers. It really annoys be how much westerners defer to the French culturally and intellectually. England has been the leader of cultural liberalism in Europe for over three centuries, not France.

      1. Well, they do have better food.

  5. It is pretty pathetic. Nothing says ‘hope for the future’ like buggy whip manufacturers protesting.

    How long have these licensed drivers got before they’re unemployed? 2 years? 3? They might want to spend more time figuring out their next step career-wise and less time lighting cars on fire.

    1. Like becoming Uber drivers.

    2. “They might want to spend more time figuring out their next step career-wise and less time lighting cars on fire.”

      Unemployment insurance.

    3. yes who will need taxi drivers when all cars become driverless

  6. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty
    arrested-detained falsely-without reason

    1. I think you’re missing a man-bear-pig in there somewhere.

  7. So, this is how liberty dies, with thunderous merde.

    1. Man, those are some powerful unions.

      1. They absorbed a Spanish union last night.

        1. No one expects the Spanish union!

  8. France Detains Top Uber Execs After Cabbie Riots Against Peaceful Ride Service

    Because…. why not, right?

    The timing of the arrests will be interpreted as an attempt to appease registered taxi drivers who overturned and burned Uber cars […]

    Why, you cynic! How could you even think that???

  9. Libertarian Moment!

  10. The arrested men, both French, were named as Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, director general of Uber in Europe, and Thibaud Simphal, director-general of Uber in France

    Nice Band Names …

    1. I just started a band.

      We’re called the 999Megabytes.

      We don’t have a Gig yet though.

      1. 1023Megabytes would be funnier.

      2. I have a t-shirt from a gig where one of the bands was called 1.21 Jigawatts, but I showed up after their set.

  11. If the industry wasn’t such a monopolized clusterfuck of regulations maybe these jerkoffs would try and find a way to compete with Uber rather than act like a bunch of tyrannical, rioting shit heads. As if they’re owed something.

    Fuck. France.

  12. The notion of the law being applied equally, and with just cause is mostly an American ideal. We don’t really practice it, we just give it lip service but that is better than most. In most of the world it is used as a cudgel against disfavored groups and for special privileges for the favored groups. The ‘Me today, you tomorrow’ ethos is SOP.

    Apparently France is especially bad.

    1. We so need a new planet.

      1. If you could convince the Canadian government to sell you some land in the Arctic would you take it to establish a Sane and Free Colony?

      2. Why not try Ceti Alpha Five? I hear there is life there, a fair chance…

        1. This is Ceti Alpha V!

  13. Arrest the victims. Makes perfectly good sense.

  14. I can’t figure out why violent protests are a favored political tactic in france. Can anyone help me out here?

    1. I can’t answer with any significant knowledge of the situation but here’s my thoughts.

      The economic situation is so bad that people are really pissed off and ready to fight at the drop of a hat. The government let’s them (leads them to) think that that the economic conditions are the fault of non-governmental forces–like rich people and company executives. Then the government reinforces the latter by arresting Uber executives who are actually representatives of the victim in this scuffle.


    2. It works?

    3. I guess the easiest way to get someone to give you free stuff is to start burning their stuff and tell them that you’ll only stop when they agree to give you half of what’s left.

  15. Remember the article about private armies? This would be a good application for that too.

  16. Someone mentioned in another thread that these goons, I mean downtrodden workers, paid about the equivalent of $100k to join his guild through licensing fees. If that is the case I can see part of their gripe. They paid their protection money, and now they want to be protected. Not sure if it is a government fee or to a private commission. If it is a government license, perhaps the government could buy them back, prorated for amount of time that one has been taking advantage of the monopoly with lousy overpriced service, I mean, been providing service.

    1. I can guarantee that almost none of those drivers paid for a medallion.

      The *company* they drive for likely did (and owns the medallion).

      But what they’re really fighting is the fact that Uber is not required t(and refuse to) set fees according to what French regulators think taxi fees should be. Meaning that Uber drivers don’t charge what taxi drivers charge and the taxi drivers, in addition to raking in huge fees (due to this government price setting) also pay out huge costs (because the medallion owner eats most of what the taxi driver makes).

      So, *right now*, the taxi drivers are in a bind – they still have these large up-front operating costs, but Uber is cutting into their income by offering a better service (cheaper and/or better *service*) which the taxi drivers *legally* can’t do.

      The real solution would be for the taxi drivers to quit and drive for Uber (or start their own ride-share programme) – but they’d rather have the status quo. The devil you know and all that.

      When facing a competitor with an unregulated business model, no one *ever* has asked that they be de-regulated, only that the competitor be regulated just as hard.

      1. When the established industry players can get their competitors thrown in jail just for being their competitors, can we call that regulatory capture?

  17. They skipped over the “Je suis Uber” part this time?

  18. Vladamir Putin does shit like that.

    If some company pisses you off, just throw the executives in prison.

    Obama would do the same thing if he could.

    He’s an asshole.

  19. OMFG!!! And folks don’t want UBER drivers carrying guns!!??

    Stupid French government jailing folks for trying to provide a service that people want. Even appeasing to the fucking violent cabbies!!???

    Like, WTF did they forget about what the fuck that piece of shit hitler did to fuck their freedom over and destroy their country? Why in the fuck do they despise freedom? Many thousands of soldiers died saving their country’s ass. The least they could do is remember their ass was saved and fight for individual freedom. It’s not isolated, as folks in Germany are calling for socialism to return. What a waste of lives for all that bloody war. Damn shame.

  20. Just as Lucille said I didnt know that anyone able to get paid $7158 in four weeks on the computer .You can look here????????????? http://www.workweb40.com

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