Thousands of taxi drivers across Europe are staging protests against taxi-hailing app Uber today, claiming that the California-based app lacks regulations and therefore threatens their livelihood. Among other things, angry drivers say Uber circumvents local licensing and tax laws, putting regular cabbies at a disadvantage.
Cabbies are striking in Paris, Lisbon, Berlin, and Madrid, with some of the biggest clashes happening in London today.
"We understand it's a competitive market place, but they're [Uber] not playing by the rules," Jim Thompson, a taxi driver for 30 years, told Reuters. "We're fighting for our livelihoods here. No one's going to take it lying down."
During this evening's rush hour, an estimated 12,000 drivers drove slowly around London's Trafalgar Square and ended up clogging the city's busiest roads. Uber, meanwhile, wasn't phased by the protests. In addition to disputing the claims that they don't abide by local laws, the app offered its users special discounts and urged peeved black cab drivers to join its service instead.
Below are some photos from London and Berlin of today's pandemonium. --Jordan Valinsky