Washington D.C. resident Rahul Dubey, 44, came to the rescue of several Black Lives Matter protestors at a June 1 rally in the northwestern part of the nation’s capital, after he opened up his home to protect them from the police.
Dubey told ABC affiliate WJLA that he was sitting outside his home around 9:00 p.m. when he saw police forcing the protesters to the ground. He just flung the front door to his townhouse open and told people to get in. “People started piling up,” he told WJLA.
People were coughing as the police began using pepper spray, Dubey said. “The crowd came racing through like a tornado,” news reports quoted Dubey as saying. There were about 75 protesters in his home, he told WJLA.
Dubey told Esquire that his family is from India and that he is a first generation American. “And God, man, do we love America,” he told the magazine. He said his father “came over here at age 19 with eight dollars in his pocket. His daughter rose to the top ranks of corporate America, and his son is one of the top innovators in the world in healthcare.”
According to his LinkedIn page, Dubey was Senior Vice President, Innovation and Solutions at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHP).
A video taken at Dubey’s home, and posted on Twitter by Meka shows people coughing. One of the protestors is seen holding a cloth to their eyes.
Dubey told NBC 4 that it was an “amazing group of people” in his home. He said protesters left when the curfew ended at 6 a.m. “They were doing nothing wrong other than to build a future that they want and that I want.”
“I’ve lived in DC for 17 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Dubey told Esquire.
He told the BBC that the group of strangers that was in his home on June 1 night represented America. “From age to race to ethnicity to sexual orientation, it was amazing, it was. America,” he said.
As protestors left Dubey’s home on June 2, there were seen cheering the man who came to their rescue. USA Today reports that Dubey addressed the group. “Get home safe. Get some rest. Talk to each other,” the report quoted Dubey as saying.”Make sure you take care of that mental health, strength, so we can continue to go out there to rise peacefully with intelligence and make a solid argument. I love you guys.”
Some of the protesters in Dubey’s house have been sharing their experiences.
“Rahul is amazing,” Sarah Feldmann, one of the protesters who took shelter in Dubey’s home, told The Washington Post on June 2. “At first, the scene inside was almost as chaotic as on the street, she told the paper. “Once the doors and windows were closed, Dubey guided the gassed protesters to his basement kitchen or the back patio, where they began to wash out their eyes with water and milk,” she said, adding that “when the milk ran out, Dubey’s neighbors passed more over the fence.”
Another protester, Allison Lane tweeted that she was “at a house in DC after being pepper sprayed and knocked down by the police.” She continued: “There are about 100 of us in a house surrounded by cops. All the neighbors on this street opened their doors and are tending to protesters. The cops corralled us on this street and sprayed us down.”
Dubey told BBC that the incident “gave him a lot of hope. And we got everybody home.”