French president Francois Hollande said the violent protests against the controversial American rideshare company Uber were unacceptable. Uber has devastated the taxi business in France, just as it’s designed to do everywhere. (Uber is a “disruptor” in Silicon Valley-speak.) But taxi drivers in France have taken their dismay right at the company and its non-employee drivers, setting fire to cars and blocking critical roads.
While Hollande said the protests were unacceptable, he also said that Uber was operating its UberPOP service illegally, and that it should be dismantled. Which is exactly what the protesters seek to bring attention to. They have succeeded. The fact remains that if violence works in gaining the world’s (and the government’s) attention, violence will continue to be an element of most passionate protesters’ strategy.