By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper (courtesy MSNBC.com)

Photo courtesy Win McNamee/Getty Images

No, it wasn’t for a movie. 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.). They were taken away in a Secret Service van.

Speaking before the large crowd that gathered to watch the protest, Clooney said 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.”

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,” the Associated Press reported.

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.”

On Wednesday, Clooney appeared on TODAY with Ann Curry and discussed how he came under rocket fire in the Sudan on a recent trip there.


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