Washington, D.C. is one of several major American cities that have been joined in protesting the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others. One man has received praise for his support of the protestors in the Nation’s Capital after he sheltered over 70 of them in his home overnight as the city’s curfew went into effect.
Rahul Dubey is the man at the center of what has been hailed as a heroic act in the press after a harrowing moment where protestors in Washington’s affluent Dupont Circle neighborhood were cornered into a side street and facing certain arrests and other crowd control tactics for being out past the 7 p.m. curfew on Monday (June 1).
As told to NPR, Dubey leaped into action and corralled the dozens of protestors into his residence and allowed them to stay overnight. Dubey’s act of kindness may have saved some of the peaceful gatherers from serious physical harm.
“They unleashed sheer hell on peaceful protesters right outside my stoop,” Dubey tells NPR’s All Things Considered. “I don’t know, I just flung the door open. And I just kept yelling, ‘Come in. Get in the house, get in the house.’ “
“Literally I can hear skulls being cracked,” he said, describing a scene that he recalls as pandemonium.
For around 10 minutes, he says, people flowed inside. As they did, Dubey shouted directions, hoping to find room for them all in his row house.
Even after Dubey was successful in getting in as many people inside his home, he says police pepper-sprayed his home in an attempt to rustle up the protestors for curfew violations. Across social media, people were moved by Dubey’s generosity.
The outlet took notice of local news outlet WUSA’s interview and shared it with their readers. It also noted that Dubey made firm rules of asking the protestors to stop thanking him and to stop asking to donate money to his Venmo.
But the story has taken an unfortunate turn of sorts after the landlord of Dubey’s Swann Street home, Steve Maviglio, who currently resides in Sacramento, Calif., seemingly tried to take the spotlight off Dubey’s act and made it about the potential loss of property, as reported by The Washington Post.
“I appreciate what he did. I sympathize with the cause,” Maviglio shared with the Post. “But he wasn’t taking any risk by doing that. It was my property that he was putting at risk.”
Piling it on, Maviglio then noted that Dubey was three months behind on rent, which Dubey says isn’t true.
However, the larger story that remains intact is that Dubey helped save lives this past Monday.