Anti-corporate shuttle activists claim to target Uber service on Capitol Hill

(Image courtesy Uber-hating anarchists)

A manipulated photo that apparently shows an Uber car delayed by activists at Harvard and Pine

We can’t find any details of police being called out and Uber has not yet responded to our message about the incidents, but a blog post published over the weekend claims to document an effort over the weekend to sabotage the app-powered car service on Capitol HIll. Take it away Destroy Uber:

On Saturday night, a mob of people ran through the streets of Seattle, chasing down Uber cabs and detaining them amidst traffic.  Ten cars were detained and fliers were distributed to the drivers and passengers.  Hundreds of people witnessed this act of defiance against one of the most disgusting tech companies in existence.

If you saw this “mob” let us know in comments or send email to chs@capitolhillseattle.com. You can also call or txt (206) 399-5959.

UPDATE: In a blog post, Uber Seattle general manager Brooke Steger confirmed that one driver was “temporarily interrupted” –

We’ve confirmed that one Uber partner driver, the one pictured in various blog posts, was temporarily interrupted from providing service during Saturday’s protest.  While Uber supports community action and political movements that work towards a common goal, there is no place for violence or scare tactics used against hard working Seattlites in modern discourse.  Tens of thousands of residents in Seattle have voiced their support for the ridesharing economy and thousands more are benefiting, both as riders and drivers, from transportation competition and choice.

You can read the rest of Uber’s response here.

The manifesto for the actions are posted at the Destroy Uber site but boil down to a call for revolution:

We don’t have any fucking money, that’s for sure, and we hope everyone reading this knows that everyone else is also broke as hell. There are more of us than there are CEO’s, though, so don’t forget that. They have a lot of money and the state at their disposal, but if enough of us figure our predicament out, we could knock them all on their asses on a single day. Hopefully we get there. Keep up the good fight whoever you people are.

We haven’t even started messing with Uber. Stay tuned.

With Thursday’s annual, typically peaceful May Day workers right march and annual, typically not peaceful anarchist demonstrations, SPD has been active in broadcasting its preparations. It appears the activists are also telegraphing their moves. Earlier this month, the Seattle stream of anti-gentrification, anti-corporate shuttle activities renewed with a brief protest and banner unfurling along E Madison.

23 thoughts on “Anti-corporate shuttle activists claim to target Uber service on Capitol Hill

  1. What exactly was their point in targeting Uber? Without that info, there’s no ‘journalism’ taking place in this article. As a reader, I’d certainly like to know what the protestor’s beef is with a company created in response to extremely poor, corporate, taxi ‘service’. These protesters seem confused and lacking in a mission here…

  2. I took the liberty of reading this Destroy Uber’s website, and it’s mostly a rambling, incoherent mess that won’t convince anyone of their mission. Buried beneath the non-sequiturs and hyperbole is their issue with Uber’s approach to driver liability, and whether Uber should be liable for accidents and fatalities that occur with their drivers. I suppose this is an issue worthy of debate, but not in a forum set up by these illiterate nitwits.

  3. Fuck these guys! Uber is a great service. These are probably the same jerks that will end up breaking windows of Cap Hill business on Thursday for May Day “protests”

    • I actually found a decent argument beneath all the meaningless rambling on their website. Allowing Uber unrestrained growth, a measure the CEO is trying to put forth to Seattle’s city council at the moment, is a huge threat to the existing taxi industry, and to the (mostly) immigrant workers that currently hold those jobs. By allowing Uber to grow to the point where regular taxis are not needed, they will essentially have a monopoly over our city’s private transportation–this causes another problem for low-income residents because they Uber charges higher fares on average than regular cabs. I don’t think their argument is waterproof, but it’s definitely worth examining. Gentrification doesn’t have to exist solely in a neighborhood setting.

      • As opposed to Uber’s mostly immigrant drivers? I agree that regulation is important, and has been lax with the older cab companies, but harassing the folks at the bottom of the management structure has never been anything but the jerk’s approach to social issues.

      • Regular taxis (yellow cab etc…) have an inferior service, why should they be protected? I use Uber nearly every single day going into work and I haven’t had a single non-immigrant driver. You have a point about Uber costing a bit more, but you get what you pay for.

        These little kids just need to be patted on the head and sent home to their mommies.

        • It’s hilarious isn’t it. They hate capitalism, but here is capitalism at work: a better service replaces a shitty service because the customers want it to.

          If customers liked yellow cabs more, this wouldn’t even be an issue. Instead, the yellow cab companies are fleeing to the city to get the city to enforce their monopoly via the set number of city-issued “medallions.”

          If you hear some dumbass anarchist yell out “power to the people,” welp… Here is a perfect example of it, you dumb fucks. Dont’t ruin it.

      • You’ve obviously never taken an uberx before otherwise you would know the fares are significantly lower then one you would find in a regular cab.

      • Or, the taxi industry could work on improving their customer service to win customers back. Also, unless surge pricing is in place (which Uber makes very obvious), Uber is actually cheaper than a cab.

      • i don’t think that argument is very solid though. the same could be say of any industry that has ever existed. eventually, new technology comes around and replaces outdated ways of doing this. i don’t think you need me to give examples of professionals that have become obsolete over time. it’s not the governments job to pick winners and pick what the people will get, that’s what individuals do.

        in this case, a better argument is – taxi drivers have paid for the medallions, safety of vehicles need rules and the insurance question needs to be solved.

        if uber becomes a monopoly of its own, then a competitor can come along and beat them. that’s what the free market is about, and that’s not what we have today. we have a monopolistic taxi industry that successfully lobbies against competition.

  4. The blog post is 85% about Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick and how he is apparently a d*ck, but not about app based transportation and other ride sharing services. Until someone can put forth a more comprehensive case, they will remain in the “whackjob with too much time” category in my mind.

  5. It seems like these guys are targeting the wrong people, namely the generally very middle class 9-5ers that don’t live in penthouses and drive Top Gear cars (harass the MS Bugatti driving douche instead, IMHO). The people who ride the MS shuttles and use Uber are part of the benign class our parents belonged to (just, instead of Boeing employees et al, they’re programmers). The real 1%ers are often a pretty unsympathetic lot, so please, go bother them and leave the paycheck to paycheck grunts* alone.

    *middle class grunts, I realize, aren’t digging ditches, but still.

  6. “We don’t have any fucking money, that’s for sure, and we hope everyone reading this knows that everyone else is also broke as hell. ”

    That’s it, spoiled kids. Keep staging childish temper-tantrum protests, posting mindless rambling gibberish “manifestos”, and lashing out enviously at anybody who’s worked to better themselves, learned a marketable skill, and got jobs that self-sustain them. Oh, yes, I totally believe you ‘don’t have any fucking money’. Keep up your unfocused baby games and you never will. But as for ‘everyone else is broke as hell’– obviously you’re wrong–Or else who are all these “gentrifiers” you’re jealously protesting? Most of them had no better opportunities than you. They just chose to MAKE something of theirs, instead of wasting time planning tantrums.

  7. I don’t agree with the anarchists’ tactics – at all – but I do agree that Uber is an evil company, and it needs to be stopped. When the city council regulated them, they chose to regulate ridesharing services the same as the incumbent taxi companies. Whether the regulations were best for everyone or not, at least they made a level playing field for everyone involved. Competition creates the best outcome on a level playing field. Uber didn’t want to play fair though, so it is now putting an initiative on the ballot that if passed, would give it huge advantage over the incumbents. The older taxi services won’t get a chance to compete and (maybe) improve their service if the initiative passes – Uber and the ridesharing services will simply take the market from them, so we will have less competition at the end.

    In my mind, Uber took the leap from being an ordinary disruptive element to being an evil corporation when they took it upon themselves to rewrite our laws in a way that benefits them. Actually, this sort of thing is happening constantly in this country now, in many different ways and at all levels of government. This is a pretty extreme sort of corruption, and one of the worst problems we face as a nation. I don’t know if there’s much to be done about it in the long run – money talks louder than any words – but one simple thing we can do is to vote against this initiative when it comes to ballot, and against most initiatives for that matter. The ‘citizen” initiative process is broken, and functions almost entirely as a method for corporations write laws to suit themselves, and to buy their way into our lawbooks.

    • I agree completely with your assertion that our initiative process is badly in need of reform, if not outright repeal. Not only do business interests (and Tim Eyman) get their pet project on the ballot by paying signature-gatherers (a perversion of the democratic process by itself), but then they contribute huge amounts of money to basically buy the election. A prime example was the privatization of liquor sales, which was bought and paid for by Costco…..and no doubt Uber will do the same thing if their initiative gets on this fall’s ballot.

  8. What’s with all the transportation-related paranoia? First shuttle buses are the root of all evil. Now it’s Uber.

    #facepalm

    Maybe they can make some signs and protest Bertha. Her corporate overlords are costing the taxpayers a lot of money after all.

  9. This is like debating the use of cell phones in 1982 because they give you cancer. Let a better idea flurish until another comes along. If the city wants to put it’s fangs into uber and get thiers – ok, raise rates 8%, give the city a cut. It’s still a 100% better product than yellow cab.
    The anarchists are nothing more than a side show, a bad comedy at best.

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