Free Uber activism round two – Portsmouth (10/10/15)


I one again assisted the Free Uber team in canvassing downtown Portsmouth with flyers and conducting public outreach.

The Portsmouth city council has banned Uber, and has instructed its police department to detain and fine Uber drivers if they continue to operate in the town. Uber drivers Christopher David and Dennis Acton started the Free Uber campaign to protest against, and hopefully reverse, the council’s ban.

We separated into two teams. Mine was composed of myself, Andrew Criscione, Joan Bastek, and Uber driver Dennis Acton.

We focused on stapling flyers to telephone poles and handing out coupons to free Uber rides to passersby, and interacted with several groups of pedestrians. One group of young people in particular were very receptive to our cause and frustrated with the council’s decision, so I gave them lists of the town councilors with their contact phone numbers.

One t-shirt shop in town, after witnessing our previous activism efforts, had begun selling Free Uber t-shirts. We stopped in to say hi, talk with sympathetic employees about our cause, and drop off a stack of literature to give out to customers.

We put up over 100 flyers in downtown Portsmouth.

Several hours later, I engaged with a couple from Newcastle. When asked what I was doing in town, I told them about our planned activism later tonight. They indicated that they had both used Uber before and had enjoyed the experience, and were baffled at how it could be banned here. I gave them the Rights Brigade site as a way of keeping up with our activism efforts. It seems everywhere I turn the people are for Uber. This is a losing battle for the cab companies in the long run.