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Thursday, July 02, 2020

Washington resident Rahul Dubey shelters 60 protesters during curfew, netizens hail as ‘hero’

Rahul Dubey opened his door and sheltered an estimated 70 protesters for a night to protect them from being arrested. His name has been trending on social media and people have been leaving flowers by his house.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 4, 2020 10:53:19 am
man shelters protesters at home, indian man shelters people from cops. US george floyd protest, washington man shelter protesters home, rahul dubey, viral news, indian express People across the USA have been praising Rahul Dubey for helping those in need and sheltering them during curfew. (Source: @kikivonfreaki/ Twitter)

Rahul Dubey, an Indian-origin resident of Washington, is being hailed as a ‘hero’ on social media after he provided shelter to over 60 protesters during curfew on Monday to ensure they weren’t arrested.

A group of protesters was marching away from the White House, a site of intense protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and were in the residential area of Swann Street when curfew began at 7 pm. Surrounded by police personnel, they risked being arrested for violating curfew that has been imposed with the aim of curbing violent protests.

However, reports said that was when Dubey frantically waved protesters into his house. Dubey said the police chased a “human tsunami” as far as the entrance of his house.

“Inside, pandemonium ensued as some of the screaming protesters hit by pepper spray sought relief for their eyes with milk and water. On the back patio, neighbours pitched in by handing milk over the fence,” an Associated Press report said.

A protester, who asked to be identified only as Meka, told CNN that the protest was peaceful and people were just trying to figure out what to do when curfew began.

“I guess someone gave an order, and they just started pushing us, spraying mace, trampling people, and then that’s when everybody started panicking,” the 22-year-old college student said.

Many people who had taken refuge in Dubey’s house tweeted about his generosity and how he kept everyone safe.

One of the protesters who was in Dubey’s house also made a video to refute claims that protesters were breaking into homes in the area. Dubey appeared in the video to clarify that he voluntarily opened his door and it was fine if all the people in his house had to stay the night there.

While many praised Dubey for his actions, he said he didn’t think he had done “anything special.” Talking to a local media outlet, he said, “I know most people would’ve flung open that door.”

Dubey said he felt the nation was “lost” and “very fragile,” and decided to help because no one is “doing anything about it, except for these people.”

“I hope that my 13-year-old son grows up to be just as amazing as they are,” the 44-year-old told ABC news channel WJLA on Tuesday after all the protesters left. None of them were arrested.

Dubey said he was in awe of the protestors.

“They were all strangers to each other before this started and when we were in that first hour we were all taking care of each other,” he told AP. As the night continued into early morning, Dubey said the group began “sharing stories of where they were on Sunday and what had happened and, you know, why Black Lives Matter and what they were feeling inside.”

As reports of his generosity were shared, his name started trending on Twitter. There was praise from across the world and people have even stopped by the house to leave flowers and thank you cards.

Washington, D.C. is among several US cities engulfed by protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody in Minneapolis after an officer, who was later fired and charged with murder, pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.

Protesters outside the White House were forcibly pushed back and reported being tear-gassed by police on Monday before Trump walked to a nearby church that had been defaced during the protests.

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