Help Destruction of Family Business After Riots

FOX5DC Video Capturing May 30th Looting 

On Sunday, May 31st at 12:30 am, my father’s family-owned liquor store in Downtown D.C. was broken into and looted for more than one whole hour, an American dream in shambles.

As recent events have unfurled, I like to think back to the reasons why my father joined my mother’s siblings in making their mark in D.C. My name is Simran Sidhu and my family settled in Maryland in the early 90's. Since then, this business venture was constantly at the back of my father’s mind. My mother’s time as a nurse in Silver Spring had allowed her to monetarily and lovingly support her husband’s dreams. After quitting his secure job at the U.S. Post Office, he gathered some of his interested relatives and welcomed his first customers in August 2008. It was the American dream. 

Plus, how could you turn down the sweet addition of the previous store owner who happened to be a priceless and knowledgeable wine connoisseur named Ron? Ron who is a valuable asset that has helped my family’s small business thrive from the start. Ron who welcomed first- gen immigrants with broken English and non-Western values to his corner store at Vermont and L Street and has continued to do so for many years.

So, (after watching the clip from above) imagine how Ron and my family must have felt when 50 people invaded their second home in the middle of the night and there was nothing they could do. Upon first sight, empty shelves and glass pieces lining the floor simultaneously depicted the metaphorical and literal state of their American dream: shattered.

The worst part is no one showed up for more than one whole hour.

Where was the police? They were busy, dealing with the protesting. What about the insurance? We don’t know when and if that will kick in. After hours of cleaning up shattered glass, boarding up empty spaces on the storefront, dealing with police who finally found a moment to get a report, and trying to recover files of the now theoretical inventory, we opened business as... well less than usual, but, nonetheless, open for business. Looking back at it, my father and relatives called this place home for the past 12 years and knew deep down that the reason this happened was not because of selfish individuals, but rather a larger picture. The constant inequality of people based on the color of their skin was the reason, disappointed in the government they so tirelessly admired for years. I’m tired. My parents and relatives are tired. But, more importantly, all of America is tired.

It pains me that the constant and systemic racism felt across the globe, but especially in America is a fight that we’re still fighting. Our country has faced time and time again the revival of a modern- day Civil Rights Movement with BLM at the forefront. We repeatedly have members of the Black community who have not just been injured but suffocated or restrained or detained or strangled or shot or repressed to death. This is not okay. It is downright repulsive and shameful behavior exhibited by a poorly trained police force. While I must mention that no one was knowingly injured in the above incident, it pains me to say that it occurred. I must make clear that the protests cannot and should not stop, especially until this November. We need and deserve change. This statement is not about anti-violence or anti-looting rhetoric. Businesses can be restored, human lives cannot. We cannot tell people how to deal with their pain, their anger, and their sadness. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others should not have been killed. They all deserve solidarity and justice. This is about the systematic oppression we must face head on and discuss until solved. As government servants ordered to protect Americans, we need the police to do better. We need the police departments of the United States to clean up their act by firstly promising to conduct the investigations of police brutality amongst their internal affairs division when they occur and not months later after they are brought to attention by the media. We need the police departments of the United States to clean up their act by secondly promising to meet higher standards of procedure when dealing with “tough” and “life-threatening” emergency situations by treating EVERYONE equally no matter their race, gender, culture, age, etc. We need the police departments of the United States to clean up their act by thirdly promising to protect its citizens, not using their power or physical force with evil intentions, despite our exercising the first amendment.

We are more than 330 million strong in just our country, but this is also a global issue. To make sure we make a dent in the call for ending racism, we must protest and continue to raise awareness as this issue cannot be silenced. I ask you to protest and donate where you can. Nobody has asked me to do this, but community is about helping those in need. Donations made to this fund will result in net proceeds allocated to the damages and repairs of our small business, Continental Wine and Liquor. Without your help and the help of the masses, the end of racism will just be another broken American dream. Thank you.



In loving memory of George Floyd


Aftermath of Looting:

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Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 15 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 28 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 29 d
  • Moira Ruth 
    • $75 
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Organizer

Simran Sidhu 
Organizer
Washington, DC
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