Uber Protesters in France Block Roads, Set Fires, and Frighten Courtney Love

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Photo: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg via Getty Images/© 2015 Bloomberg Finance

France’s taxi drivers made their hatred for Uber very clear on Thursday with a massive protest that blocked access to Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, train stations in Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence, and a major road that rings central Paris, among other locations. The cabbies are particularly displeased with the expansion of UberPop, which allows anyone who can pass a security check to act as a chauffeur, despite a French court’s recent ruling against the service. (A license to operate a cab in France can cost as much as $270,000, according to the New York Times.) Various reports — not to mention many social media dispatches  — have the demonstrators burning tires, overturning vehicles, and fighting with other drivers.

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French Taxi drivers protest in the southern city of Marseille on June 25, 2015 as they demonstrate against UberPOP, a popular taxi app that is facing fierce opposition from traditional cabs.Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
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French CRS riot police face demonstrators as striking taxi drivers block the Boulevard Peripherique near Porte Maillot in Paris on June 25, 2015.Photo: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg via Getty Images/© 2015 Bloomberg Finance

Travelers were warned against driving to the airports, but many of those who didn’t get the memo were forced into the streets in an attempt to catch their flights:

Somehow, drama-magnet Courtney Love managed to get caught in the fray:

Eventually, Hollande (or someone) heard Courtney’s cries, and cops in riot gear were dispatched to break up the protests:

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French CRS riot police face demonstrators as striking taxi drivers block the Boulevard Peripherique near Porte Maillot in Paris on June 25, 2015.Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images
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Smoke rises from a fire burning next to French CRS riot police standing near an overturned car as taxi drivers block Porte Maillot in Paris on June 25, 2015.Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve heard the drivers. Reuters reports that Cazeneuve ordered the police to enforce a ban against UberPop "given the serious public order disturbances and development of this illegal activity."