George Clooney Gets Arrested for Protesting Sudan's Food Aid Blockade
Popular Hollywood actor George Clooney has been arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC, 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, Today Entertainment reported.
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."
He went on to say that the group wanted "the (Sudanese) government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children. Stop raping them, and stop starving them."
Half a million people in Sudan's Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions risk starvation due to the blockage of supplies, and the coming rainy season will only make it worse, the actor told the crowd.
"It's about to start raining, and once it starts raining there, thousands of people are going to die," Clooney said.
Because the embassy is private property, Clooney and colleagues knew that refusing to move would end in arrest. They were warned three times before police moved in to make the arrests. The group held a sign that read "Sudan: Stop Weapons of Mass Starvation."
On Thursday, the actor testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about what he saw in Sudan; then met with Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Obama in the Oval Office. The Washington Post later reported that Clooney said Obama promised to push China's president to aid in forcing Sudan to open its southern region to relief efforts.
He later told reporters that "people turn on the news and see an awful lot of bad stories," but added that the United States "is still the most generous country in the world and truly the most compassionate."
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