We treat cab drivers like we're a bunch of sociopaths. We told them to get licensed, to rent plates, to fork out for commercial insurance, and they did all that. Not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because we said "If you're going to drive people for a living, we need these reassurances, and in exchange we'll set rates that ensure you can make a living." The drivers said "Okay", and they did these things. Access to the industry was mostly gated thanks to dispatch.
Then Uber came along, solved the dispatch issue, and we collectively decided that we didn't really give a shit about the rules if it meant we could save a few bucks and get sweet vengeance when a driver made a wrong left turn. We could repay their wasting a couple minutes of our time and a couple dollars of our money by putting that worthless piece of shit out of a job. Sure, cab drivers might be frustrated because they're losing the assurance that they could make a living by following the rules, but fuck 'em. It's not like we ever gave a shit about them once we stepped out of the cab.
I'm not defending protests that shut down streets and make it more difficult for EMS to move around the city. But I'm also not going to pretend that when politicians choose not to enforce the rules for Uber, it's for any other reason than us not giving a fuck if the people who drive us around can feed their families or not. I'm absolutely not going to say that cab drivers aren't justified in their anger when we told them to do things a certain way, only to see people undercutting them by ignoring the rules cabbies are bound to, and facing zero consequences for doing so.
"Well, if the cabbies want public sympathy, this is hardly the best way to do it!" We never had sympathy for them. We need to stop lying to ourselves.