WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Massachusetts Reps. Jim McGovern and John Olver were arrested on Friday along with actor George Clooney and several others at a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

The protesters accuse Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, of provoking a humanitarian crisis and blocking food and aid from entering the Nuba Mountains in the county’s border region with South Sudan.

Reps. McGovern and Olver, along with Clooney, Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP President Ben Jealous, were all cuffed and taken into custody after being warned three times not to cross a police line outside the embassy. They were all placed into a U.S. Secret Service van.

McGovern’s staff described the protest as an act of civil disobedience.

Massachusetts Rep. John Olver was arrested as part of a protest in Washington, DC.

Olver’s office released a statement urging Members of Congress, the Administration and the international community to focus on ending the violence in Sudan.

“The world must prevent Sudan’s widespread use of its own citizens as expendable pawns in its post-South Sudan secession posturing,” the statement read.

The arrest came after Clooney met this week with Obama, testified in the Senate and attended a state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry took to Twitter to joke about the arrests.

Clooney told The Associated Press before he was arrested that he can only hope to draw attention to the crisis in Sudan but that he doesn’t know if any progress has been made. He said he was impressed, though, with Obama’s engagement on the issue.

“It’s amazing to sit down with a world leader who knows all of the intricacies of what’s going on in Sudan,” he said.

The actor said he asked Obama to involve China more in pushing for a solution in Sudan. He said international leaders need to “follow the money” flowing to Sudan’s leaders to expose corruption.

“This is a moment where we have a chance to do something because if we don’t, in the next three to four months, there’s going to be a real humanitarian disaster,” Clooney said before his arrest.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Art Cohen reports

“It’s such a silly thought to think you’re actually succeeding in any of this,” he said. “But if it’s loud enough and you keep making it loud enough at the very least people will know about it, and you can’t say we didn’t know. That’s the first step.”

McGovern was arrested for a similar protest against the Sudanese government in 2009 over the genocide in Darfur.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (24)
  1. Rob Cleary says:

    And we care about the Sudan and Clooney why? What ever happened to what happens in the Sudan, stays in the Sudan. If these tribal savages want to live like tribal savages it’s none of our bidness. This is just another shakedown by the Democratic party of welfare.

    1. Hank says:

      It’s a good thing you were born in a country that recognizes basic human rights, so you can sit in your ticky-tacky box and ignore those who weren’t. Whatever man, be pro-genocide if you want, but it serve you better to keep it to yourself.

    2. petem says:

      Rob Cleary, official D-bag of this and I’m sure many other blogs. Go away and thank your lucky stars you aren’t Black and African.
      You disgust me, because even though you have the right to be an a**hole you are riding on the backs of millions of Americans that created the safe little place you are huddled in now. That’s a good thing too because cowards like you don’t have the stones to do the hard dirty work that the people who actually built this society do.

  2. Jaygee says:

    I like George but I would like to ask him why all of the other African states along with Europe & Middle Eastern countries don’t take care of this situation? Why does our country have to be the leader in “Saving the World” when we can’t even save ourselves. WE already have over 100 American military “advisors” in Africa (remember Vietnam) and now all we need is for Sen. McCain to advise us that bombing the Sudanese capital along with Syria & Iran, would be in our best interest. Welcome to the Nuthouse.

    1. Hank says:

      “The actor said he asked Obama to involve China more in pushing for a solution in Sudan. He said international leaders need to “follow the money” flowing to Sudan’s leaders to expose corruption.”
      Took this quote right from the article. I’m surprised you missed it.

  3. petem says:

    I just followed a link from another story about this subject and watched the video of George in Sudan and it’s stunning that so few in this country care about this. Watch it yourself and see if you come away thinking ‘let’s just let someone else take care of this.’ WE are supposed to be a beacon in the world and WE can’t let this continue.

    1. gramps says:

      Survey: Continent of Africa has the most corrupt nations in the world….


      At the bottom of the 178 countries Somalia scored 1.1, below Afghanistan and Myanmar (1.4) and Iraq (1.5). Five other African nations joined Somalia; Sudan, Chad, Burundi, Angola and Equatorial Guinea. Forty-four of the 47 African nations scored less than five on the index, meaning they have serious levels of corruption. Botswana was ranked as the least corrupt African country, with a score of 5.8.

      Yet we continue to ‘poor money’ down a ‘black hole’ thru donations……We’re ‘CHUMPS’!


    2. tsalnew says:

      petem – I agree. Not only are we a beacon in the world but we are part of a global community. It gives me hope for this country that the younger generation is seeing this even if the adults in their lives cannot (e.g., the younger generations response to Kony2012).

      1. fred says:

        Do you even talk to the younger generation? Many are geographically illiterate and unaware of current events beyond American Idol and that Jersey Shore Crap. We have young employees working for us and I made a comment about the stranded cruise ship in the Indian Ocean that had to be towed leaving the the passengers in awful conditions and there was a fear of pirates. Several thought I was joking. Pirates? Like the pirates of the Caribbean? Then I had to explain the story about the Navy seals and the rescue of the crew of the Maersk Alabama and the situation in Somalia – These kids are college students and some have graduated. Anyway what are we supposed to do- send troops over there, or should we just donate money to these corrupt so called African aid groups where much of the supplies end up on the black market. I give instead to the Salvation Army where at least someone in this country will be helped. As far as Kony, yeah he is a monster, he might even be dead for all we know – but this group that put out this film is another dubious charity with other agendas – always check with the local BBB and other charity monitoring sites before you part with your hard earned money regardless of the emotional pull.

      2. petem says:

        Thanks tsal. Of course the conversation is always made more real by the presence of ‘patriots’ like gramps who would rather tattoo the crimes of the warlords on the people who live in South Sudan than doing anything to help a fellow human.
        My disgust for gramps is even greater than for Rob Cleary because he doesn’t usually seem to post here just to be a provocateur…til now.

      3. Tsal says:

        Gee gramps does that in any way make what kony is doing acceptable Why do I think you might actually answer that it does. I hope you know how you’d handle dealing with exposure to the konys of the world. I sure don’t know how I would.

    3. gramps says:

      The ‘beacon’ has become a ‘NIGHT LIGHT’!

      1. Becky says:

        Gramps- you are obsolete. The youth in the upcoming generation understand that we ARE global citezens and we DO need to help fellow human beings. I am so grateful to live in the US and that we have soldiers that are willing to give their lives for our freedom. One issue that I feel many people still don’t understand is that if we don’t take care of others, we can hurt ourselves. Take vaccinations. If we do not pay for these vaccinations and provide them to people in currupt countries where there is extreme poverty- guess what happens? Super bacterias, epidemics of rare viruses that kill is what happens. I work in the medical community- and this is a fact. So even for those selfish people out there that don’t want to help others- there is a BIG reason to care… I myself and happy to be a humanitarian that sees everyone as equals and have been known to push legislation to promote better programs to assist poeple in various impovershed countries.

      2. gramps says:


        Beckey has ‘OD’d’ on ‘MSNBC’…..aka…..the

        “Mostly Socialist Nubian Broadcasting Company”!


      3. gramps says:


        Beckey has ‘OD’d’ on ‘MSNBC’


      4. gramps says:

        The “Mo$tly $ociali$t Nubian Broadca$ting Company”

      5. tsalnew says:

        Becky nicely said and ignore gramps – he’s a tad grumpy most of the time.

      6. gramps says:

        Becky, here’s another thing for you to worry about….


        From today’s Cape Cod Times….


  4. fred says:

    Things are going so swimmingly in this state and country that these two bozo’s (congressmen) have the free time to get arrested for civil disobedience. Maybe they can get pinched at the next occupy protest too. It sounds like Clowney must have gotten a thrill up his leg after finding out how involved Obama is in the intricacies of the situation. He should have asked Obama to show him where the Sudan is on a map. Hey Gramps you better be careful with that “poor money” down a “black hole” statement lest you be called a racist.

    1. gramps says:

      You’re right….I wouldn’t be the 1ST.

      Read this:


      That is ‘soo sad’ it’s funny….


  5. Denise says:

    I hope they had to take a vacation day to go and get arrested I don’t want to think I’m paying them to sit in a jailcell!

    1. petem says:

      Right Denise…they should take a vaca day to try to bring attention to the plight of human being who are being shelled and shot every day. This is the only life they know…and the best you could come up with is “I hope they had to take a vacation day to go and get arrested I don’t want to think I’m paying them to sit in a jailcell”?

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