Early Monday morning, the Metropolitan Police tweeted a warning to London taxi drivers claiming that their planned Wednesday protest against Uber may be illegal.
The tweet includes a letter that is addressed to “Licensed Taxi Driver” and is signed by Met Operations commander Peter Terry.
“The Metropolitan Police Service is aware, through the media that your profession are in dispute with Transport for London in relation to a particular App,” the letter begins. “We are keen to work with your profession to facilitate a peaceful protest and to progress this we would ask that organisers contact us using the methods detailed above …”
“If no notification is made we may have to impose conditions on any anticipated demonstration, without considering your wishes and views, to reduce the risk of serious disruption and consequent danger arising out of interference with the work of the emergency services. Those failing to comply with any imposed conditions will place themselves at risk of arrest and persecution.”
The conflict between taxi drivers and Uber has been on the rise in London as the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association is convinced that Uber is illegal. Transport for London disagrees and thus the London taxi drivers have been planning to protest by shutting down service in parts of the city. Drivers in London have been planning to protest around Trafalgar Square starting at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Steve McNamara, the general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, told The Wall Street Journal that he did not plan to respond to the police’s tweet.
Prior to the police’s tweet, McNamara had already said, “If [the police] start getting silly and turning cabs away, well, it might last a lot longer.”
Here is a screenshot of the tweet:
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