Mr First Minister
Mr Minister of the Economy
Yesterday, you took the decision to ban UberPop, Heetch et Djump. You know it, and the French people understood: yesterday, you did not defend the people’s interest, but the interest of a corporation. You justify your action by saying the conflicts could trouble public order. In fact, you admit that you compromised to violence and intimidation from taxis. Let us tell you, Ministers, that your statement will not change anything. It won’t have any effect, because only dictatorships could technically constrain us to uninstall these apps from our phones. Millions of French could never afford a taxi ride, because they were too expensive. Today, UberPop and Heetch, allow students, unemployed and, to say it : poor people to move cheaper and easilly. Even better : UberPop allows citizens to make ends meet, or to reintegrate society, by driving a few hours a week. You pretend to act for the poorer, but you chose the situation to remain the same. Then you had to forbid these apps, to prevent a competition from unsettling taxi’s corporation, that has been overprotected for too long by successive French governments. The taxis deserved this competition, because their monopoly gave them the possibility not to satisfy their customer’s expectations. Social networks can testify. You pretend to fight against unemployment, but you prefer to defend a corporation that puts a stop to the opportunity of thousands of jobs that could be created in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, etc… But you chose : these jobs do not have the same value than taxi’s privileges to your eyes. Also, we would like to say how much the message you send to French startups, entreprenors and to the youth that wishes to succeed is pathetic. By banning Heetch, a French startup, you warn every inventors and creators that in France, it is forbiden to innovate because you cannot compete with an untouchable corporation. By the way, you contradict your speeches all around the world about the fantastic future of the « French Tech »… How will schools, institutions and universities be able to support again the youth to create and innovate, shake up and change the world ? You thought you could eradicate the problem by a statement because you have been unable to change the law : you are wrong. Uber, Heetch and Djump will continue to exist, because they became the symbol of a freedom of choice, to wich customers will never give up. With all our respect, you lacked bravoury. You gave in, again, toward a professionnal body that is impossible to amend because it is regulated. You wanted to enforce the law without asking yourself about its legitimacy. But isn’t law supposed to adapt to citizens expectencies and insure their freedom ? The law is not a tool that can be used to make sure to asphyxiate competitors of a protected corporation. Many French expressed theirselves, but you did not listen. Many said they would never take a taxi again. French people are not as weak as you think, toward monopolies that abuse them.
Étienne Pichot Damon, Student in Master Altervilles Olivier M. UberPop driver and student in Politics Authors of the blog Transports Libres – Founders of the organization live-Car