George Clooney and at least one congressman were arrested Friday outside of the Sudanese embassy in Washington D.C. The arrests were anticipated and part of the actor's effort to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
The actor, his father and politicians were protesting the country's blockade of supplies and humanitarian aide. Clooney was reportedly handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cab.
"They were protesting the violence committed by the government of Sudan on its own innocent men, women and children," Clooney's publicist said in a statement published by TMZ. "They were demanding they allow humanitarian aid into the country before it becomes the largest humanitarian crisis in the world."
UPDATE #1: NBC has confirmed more arrests. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), former Rep. Tom Andrews (D-Maine), Nick Clooney (the actor's father), NAACP President Ben Jealous and Martin Luther King III were also taken into custody at the scene.
Clooney has since been released, please follow the rest of our coverage here.
The Huffington Post spoke with Clooney immediately prior to his arrest (see footage at the top of this article). Here's what he had to say:
"The goal for today is the same goal its been all along and will continue to be and not be accomplished today or anytime in the near future, but it's a job that we have to continually do which is raise attention; protest the idea of a government attacking and killing its own innocent men, women and children and allowing aid to get in now because in the next few months it could be the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world and thats the important thing."
The Huffington Post's Christina Wilkie and Sara Kenigsberg interviewed George Clooney at the scene and captured the footage of his arrest at the top of this post.
CORRECTION: A former version of this article identified Tom Andrews as a current member of congress from Massachusetts. Andrews represented the first district of Maine and left office in 1995. He is now president and chief executive officer of United to End Genocide. The error has been corrected above.
PHOTOS From Today's Arrests:
TMZ just reported that Clooney was released from jail on a $100 bail. Shortly after his release, Clooney was asked about his short stint in jail, to which the actor replied, "Really rough you can imagine... Have you ever been in a cell with these guys?"
|@ NickKristof : Nick Clooney, 79, said he had never been arrested, but the fate of the Nuba Mountain people was a good reason to do so.|
Washington Post reporter James Buck tweeted photos from the scene in D.C.:
Congressmen being handcuffed outside Sudan embassy twitter.com/jamesbuck/stat…— James Buck (@jamesbuck) March 16, 2012
Clooney and protestors in back of police van twitter.com/jamesbuck/stat…— James Buck (@jamesbuck) March 16, 2012
"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."
The Guardian's Peter Beaumont raises an interesting point:
|@ petersbeaumont : Everyone tweeting that Clooney arrested but not tweeting what he was protesting. Problem with celebrity activism|
|@ alecbaldwin : “@kyndrdspirit: @alecbaldwin Did you hear George Clooney/members of Congress arrested for civil disobedience at Sudanese Embassy?” Great|
The Blaze reports that other politicians and public figures were at the protest:
"Others joining in the protest were Martin Luther King III, NAACP President Ben Jealous, Rep Jim McGovern (D-MA), and former Rep. Tom Andrews (D-MA)."
|@ AnnCurry : George Clooney:"It's actually a humiliating thing to be arrested no matter what you do, but i'm glad to be standing here with my father."|
Among those arrested at the scene, according to the Associated Press:
Clooney, his father, Nick and others, including Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia and NAACP President Ben Jealous, were arrested after being warned three times not to cross a police line outside the embassy. They were handcuffed and placed into a U.S. Secret Service van.
Related on HuffPost: