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McGovern “Proud” Of Arrest At Washington, DC Protest

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BOSTON (CBS) – Congressman Jim McGovern, back in Massachusetts, told WBZ-TV he hoped to send a message to the Sudanese government when he was arrested Friday in Washington, DC.

McGovern was with actor George Clooney, who also was arrested in a protest against genocide and other crimes in the Sudan.

“I am proud I did it. There is a terrible humanitarian crisis going on in Sudan, where if the government of Sudan does not allow food shipments to be delivered to its people, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of innocent people will die,” said McGovern.

McGovern said Clooney and the others crossed a police line to send an urgent message to the Sudanese president.

“Immediately, we need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,” said Clooney on Friday.

Demonstrators blocked the entrance to the Sudanese embassy to symbolize the country’s blockade of food and other humanitarian aid.

“Sometimes it requires people getting arrested, including a celebrity who has a lot of courage and guts, who has been over there to get arrested, to bring this issue to the forefront,” said McGovern.

By Friday afternoon, they were released from jail. They were there for more than four hours.

“One by one, we were called up and processed and fingerprinted. Our photographs were taken. I paid $100 as a fine,” said McGovern.

McGovern says he hopes their actions will bring international pressure on the Sudanese government and hope the cause for a country that has suffered so much injustice.

“People ought to care when innocent people are being slaughtered even if it’s half way around the world,” said McGovern.

“There is a mug shot of me, but my guess is the mug shot of George Clooney will be more in demand than the mug shot of me,” said McGovern.

Rep. John Olver of Worcester and Martin Luther King III were also among those who were also arrested.

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