PETALING JAYA, June 3 — Washington DC citizen Rahul Dubey has been hailed as a hero after opening up his home to protesters of George Floyd’s death.
This happened after a citywide curfew that was enforced to curb the violent protests against the brutal killing of Floyd by policeman, Derek Chauvin.
The killing caused an uproar among American citizens, especially the African-American community.
A protester who was fleeing from the police told CNN that the initial peaceful demonstration turned violent after police started spraying mace that made everyone go helter-skelter.
He then saw his friend running up into a nearby home on Swann Street near Dupont Circle.
The street is about two kilometres from the White House.
Dubey was standing outside and waving his hands to let protesters into his home as police officers started blocking the roads.
Dubey told news portal NPR: “I just flung the door open. I just kept yelling for everyone to get into my house.
“My house was so full and I screamed at them to head upstairs, downstairs, bedrooms and also the backyard. It quickly became a bottleneck and I did not want anyone to get crushed including myself.”
One of the protesters who was inside the house captured the scene outside where protesters came to a standstill as police officers had already blocked all the roads, trapping protesters from escaping any routes.
THE POLICE BOXED IN A GROUP OF PEACEFUL PROTESTERS AND THEN STARTED HITTING AND MACING PEOPLE. A MAN TOOK SOME OF US INTO HIS HOUSE AND THE POLICE HAVE US TRAPPED. THERE ARE PEOPLE STILL TRAPPED IN THE STREET ON 15th AND SWANN pic.twitter.com/H2B2QCup1o— Meka (@MekaFromThe703) June 2, 2020
Another protester, known as @jlaazo on Instagram recorded the scene outside the house and also inside where protesters can be seen in every corner of the house.
She recorded Dubey who was in the kitchen and confirmed with him whether they (protesters) would be okay in his home, to which he said yes.
“You can stay here as long as you want to because this is my house.
“If you’re out there, they (police) would not let you leave. And yes, you’re safe here.”
In another interview that was captured by a social media user, Dubey said that the protesters who spent the night at his home were expressing their emotions, sharing their fears and were consoling each other.
“Everyone was in unity last night and that is the America I know. If my leaders are able to reproduce what happened in my house last night, this is going to be a much better country.
Twitter user @darryn_briggs replied to the video, saying: “Most people would not have opened their home to about 50 complete strangers amid a pandemic, but what you did was just extraordinary.”
I found this very inspiring, Rahul Dubey of DC who sheltered ~50 protestors on #SwannStreet last night, after emerging, gave this interview to @WUSA9 and @slazo88— Ian Glenn (@IanBGlenn) June 2, 2020
“Our flag is hanging by a string”#2020Protests #savejenny #1stAmendment #compassion pic.twitter.com/S5uVzgrrQe
NPR also reported that Dubey handed out his business card to those in the house so they could contact him as he was worried that anyone who left the house might get accused of breaking in
“They waited for us, man, like predators so they could arrest us. We were doing no wrong in my house. I even said, ‘They are my guests’.”
He added that his neighbours, who he had never met before, helped by bringing the protestors pizza.
NPR also said the protestors stayed until curfew ended at 6am and many of them got lifts from strangers who had coordinated the effort online.
The Metropolitan police department chief Peter Newsham said two days ago that none of the protesters who took refuge in Rahul’s house were arrested but a total of 194 people were caught in the area nearby his house, as reported by CNN.