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Photo via Twitter/Uber protest
Photo via Twitter/Uber protest

An Uber protest in Paris with cab drivers blocking entrances to the airports has turned downright nasty.

As Reuters reports, France’s interior minister has called for the “nationwide legal clampdown” on UberPOP, basically UberX in France, “siding with taxi drivers who blockaded major transport hubs.”

Cab drivers have been blocking roads into Charles de Gaullle and Orly airports, as well as staging blockades and protests in other cities across France, according to Reuters.

Some areas have escalated into more than blockades and protests. Overturned vehicles, burning tires and outbreaks between cabbies and other drivers are erupting, causing police to even put on riot gear and use tear gas.

A scroll through images being loaded to Twitter, many from European news agencies, shows exactly just how nasty things are getting.

Why the protests? In France, taxi licenses are expensive, and Uber is taking a hefty slice of cabbies’ incomes, hence the current situation.

“UberPop has been operating in a murky legal space since the beginning of this year, when a new law requiring all chauffeurs to carry licenses and insurance went into effect,” reports the Verge. “French officials have said the service will be illegal under the law, but courts have allowed it to continue pending a ruling on its legality from a constitutional court.”

Thankfully, we Americans have a trusty correspondent on the ground in the form of Courtney Love, who got caught up in the mess en route to the airport, proclaiming that she would be “safer in Baghdad”:

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