Hailed as “The Man Who Gave Shelter to Those in Need,” during George Floyd protests.
Rahul Dubey, an Indian American healthcare worker, who opened the doors of his Washington DC home to demonstrators protesting the killing of George Floyd, has been hailed as one of “Heroes of 2020” by the TIME magazine.
“From citizens providing food and shelter to those in need to volunteers who protected their neighbors from natural disasters, these heroes went above and beyond the call of duty in 2020,” the magazine.
Calling Dubey as “The Man Who Gave Shelter to Those in Need,” Time recalled that Dubey was at his home, not far from the White House as demonstrators filled the streets of the capital on June 1.
After a 7 p.m. curfew, he noticed crowds in the street outside: police had set up barricades seemingly to trap protesters, and were pepper-spraying those who remained. Dubey decided to take action.
“I open my door, and I start yelling, ‘Get in!’” Dubey, who works in health care, was quoted as saying.
“All these people were swarming in.” Dubey estimates he gave 70 protesters refuge, housing them overnight to avoid curfew breaches.
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“People were coughing, crying, strangers pouring milk into strangers’ eyes,” Dubey said as cited by Time. “They were sharing information, writing down numbers for bail bondsmen. It was this real camaraderie.”
Dubey claims police officers made several attempts to breach his sanctuary that evening: posing as protesters trying to get inside, and attempting to intercept the pizza delivery he had ordered for his houseguests.
The move to open his door was driven by instinct, Dubey told Time nearly six months later. “It’s what was needed.”
Dubey was hailed as a hero and savior by those he sheltered too. “Rahul saved lives last night,” tweeted one Black Lives Matter activist.
“He ended this with an inspirational speech about not giving up and keeping up the peaceful fight. What a guy. Thank you, Rahul.”
Dubey told BuzzFeed News that it wasn’t a choice to open his door and provide refuge to the mostly young protesters.
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“If you had seen what was going on in front of my eyes, there was no choice. People were getting pepper-sprayed and beaten and slammed to the ground,” he said.
“I hope that my 13-year-old son grows up to be just as amazing as they are,” Dubey was quoted as saying by WJLA news.
Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer pinned him with a knee on his neck as he gasped for breath for nearly nine minutes, sparking the nationwide protests.