The raid of the Uber offices in Amsterdam shows that “the free world” is not remotely as free as it likes to posture itself as being.
When one thinks of Amsterdam today, as opposed to its older history, one thinks of drug culture, legal marijuana, and an overabundance of sex workers. I don’t doubt that the Dutch pride themselves on being “a free country.” They probably hear about SWAT drug raids in the United States and say to themselves with a feeling of satisfaction, “We don’t do that over here.”
No. Instead they raid people who offer rides for money. Bloomberg reported on the latest surgical strike against freedom fighters: “Uber Offices in Amsterdam Raided for Third Time This Year.”
Uber Technologies Inc.’s offices in Amsterdam were raided for the third time this year as Dutch authorities continued a criminal probe into the company’s UberPop ride-sharing service.
Uber continues to offer UberPop in four Dutch cities, despite already being fined 450,000 euros ($505,000) for the service, the public prosecutor said on its website Tuesday. The authorities believe the service violates national transport laws that prohibit organized taxi services without licensed drivers.
“They are suspected of offering taxi services without a permit in an organized way,” Marieke van der Molen, a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor, said by phone.
Legal and political challenges have piled up for San Francisco-based Uber in Europe. The company has suspended UberPop in France after a string of difficulties in the country, including clashes with taxi drivers, tensions with the government and arrests of top executives. A French court confirmed the ban on UberPop Sept. 22, according to Agence France-Presse, while the service has also been banned halted in Germany and Belgium. In Amsterdam, Uber drivers this year reported being threatened by masked men.
Face it: These people are freedom fighters. They are the Rebel Alliance against the empire. This story describes exactly the way you would expect a country in the old Soviet Union to treat a resistance group. It reminds me of Lech Walesa in Poland when it was under Soviet domination. Yes the government would get far more violent, but the opposition to free people running their own lives outside corruptocrat control is the same.
It is not a coincidence that some of the Founding Fathers of America were smugglers (or that George Lucas portrayed a smuggler as joining up with the rebels in Star Wars).
Is our government any different? Sometimes a judge does the right thing, which is far superior to what I have read about in Europe. But Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both campaigning against ridesharing, specifically targeting Uber. The service continues to be attacked in various locations, like California.
These people are moral heroes. The fact that they are motivated by the desire to make money (to some extent) doesn’t change anything. The fact that there is money to be made proves that people have been exploited by the government-taxi alliance and are yearning to lose their chains.