Cab drivers protest Lyft, Uber at 8th annual 'Crunchies'

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Techies and protesters filled the streets of San Francisco Thursday night near Davies Symphony Hall.

Thursday night marked the 8th annual Crunchies, the awards given out to innovative tech companies by TechCrunch.

"It's a fantastic deal, it's like the Grammies for tech companies," said Cho Phillips, founder of Lovegevity Inc.

While some view the awards as something to celebrate, cab drivers including Mark Gruberg, saw it as an opportunity to protest against ride share applications such as Uber and Lyft.

"Why would anyone give an award to a company that has gone around the world, breaking the law almost everywhere they go? It seems not only absurd and ridiculous, but almost criminal," said Gruberg.

Others showed up to protest saying tech companies, and the wealthy workers they support are eroding away the culture of the San Francisco and gentrifying the city. Erin McElroy from the Anti Eviction Mapping Project says the growing number of wealthy tech workers is raising rents and forcing out poor and working class San Franciscans.

"The tech Crunchies celebrate the most prestigious awards," said McElroy. "We're going to be mockingly celebrating the most egregious offenders and tech corporations that have happened this last year and also collusions between politicians and tech."

Attendees of the awards pointed out tech companies add jobs to the community, and add an economic boost to entire communities; that's all in addition to innovating new technology to improve everyone's life.

"All these brilliant and intelligent people bringing new technology to our lives, to make them easier it's a fantastic place to come and celebrate it," said Cho.

Organizers of the awards show did not make anyone available to talk about the protests, and had no official comment.