George Clooney And Friends Arrested Outside Sudanese Embassy In Washington, DC

Ah, just another reason to love George Clooney. Via MSNBC:

Actor George Clooney, long a political activist, was arrested and handcuffed outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington for protesting the country's blockage of food and aid from entering the Nuba Mountains area of the country, as well as its treatment of its people.

Clooney's father, journalist Nick Clooney, 78, was with him and was also arrested, as were Martin Luther King III, NAACP President Ben Jealous, Rep Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and former Rep. Tom Andrews (D-Mass.). The group was handcuffed with plastic handcuffs and were taken away by police.

Speaking before the large crowd that gathered to watch the protest, Clooney said "we need immediate humanitarian aid into Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world."

Earlier this week, Clooney testified before a Senate committee on the Sudan crisis. Here is the conclusion of his statement, where he passionately argued for the US to take steps, including putting pressure on China to pressure Khartoum to end the atrocious human rights violations in that country.

The arrests cap off a week of activism this week as Clooney lobbies for humanitarian efforts in Sudan. Besides his testimony in Congress, he also attended the state dinner for Prime Minister Cameron and met with President Obama in the Oval Office for 15 minutes to press him toward action on this.

Specifically, here's what Clooney sees as viable, nonviolent, noninterventionist actions:

Clooney, whose visit to Washington has drawn outsized press coverage at every turn, said he was optimistic that Obama would press Chinese President Hu Jintao to join international efforts to bring peace to the ravaged region when the two meet this month on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in South Korea.

"The good news for us is we feel like there's a commitment at a high level" to deal with the Sudanese situation, Clooney told reporters after his meeting with the president. He added that he sensed "great interest in working with China."

Clooney, just back from an eight-day trip to the northeastern Africa region, met with Obama for 15 minutes in the president's Oval Office.

The actor held out hope for cooperation from China on Sudan even though Beijing has protected the Syrian regime from censure by the U.N. Security Council. He said energy-hungry China receives about 6 percent of its oil from Sudan, giving it an economic incentive to work to bring peace to the region.

Oil-rich South Sudan and Sudan, the keeper of the pipelines, have been at odds over oil and profits. Exports have stopped, which is applying pressure on oil prices worldwide.


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