Football Ferns goalkeeper Erin Nayler and fiance Jordan Carter have described the 'three minutes of terror' they experienced in Barcelona this morning (NZT) after they were attacked by an angry mob protesting against Uber.
Nayler, who plays professionally for Bordeaux in the top French league and has over 50 caps for the Football Ferns, was travelling to Barcelona for a weekend getaway from her French home. But when she arrived in Spain with Carter, all hell broke loose.
"We literally flew in to Barcelona and caught an Uber, then our driver went in to the city and the Uber got beaten in," said Carter.
"It was mental. There's a taxi protest on here that we had no idea about."
"We are safe, no-one hurt but the driver was driving through people to get out of it. It was three minutes of terror."
The attackers were smashing the windows on the vehicle with battens and fists. Nayler and Carter were in an Uber which got cornered.
"Glass went all over my face. I'm covered in shards of glass," said Nayler.
"The car was surrounded by people trying to block us in and the driver had to force her way though it, people were throwing coffee and eggs at the car too."
When the couple realised their vehicle was being attacked, they deduced their best option was to sit and wait.
"We tried to get out but the driver told us not to, the doors were locked and they were trying to open the doors."
Armed police were called to the area soon after.
Dozens of taxis in Barcelona started an indefinite strike today, blocking a major thoroughfare in protest against online ride-hailing services like Uber.
Today dozens of cars were blocking the street that had already been occupied over the summer by taxis in another protest that then spread to other cities.
The strike follows new regulations unveiled Friday by the regional government of Catalonia that force clients to book VTCs (Tourism Vehicles with Chauffeur) like Uber or Cabify at least 15 minutes before the actual time they are needed.
Taxis though argue that VTCs are not a taxi service by law and should therefore be booked 12 to 24 hours ahead of time.
"We want them to differentiate both services and the only way to do so is via pre-booking," Luis Berbel, head of the Taxi Union of Catalonia, told AFP.
"Fifteen minutes is nothing, it's an insult to the sector."