George Clooney arrested at protest

America’s leading man might be behind bars.

Actor George Clooney, along with at least four members of Congress, were handcuffed and led away on Friday morning after being arrested during a planned protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

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Clooney, 50, sported a zip-up jacket and jeans as he was joined at the demonstration by an eclectic mix of politicians, leaders and activists, including Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.), Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), Martin Luther King III and NAACP President Ben Jealous. The star of “The Descendants” even brought along his father, TV anchor Nick Clooney, to protest alongside him.

The men were arrested when they refused repeated efforts by police officers to get them off the Embassy grounds.

George Clooney arrested at Sudan protest, Greg Nash photoClaiming that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is blockading food and humanitarian aid, the protesters blocked the Embassy in an efforts to rase awareness for the escalating humanitarian emergency in the African nation.

At the protest, Clooney demanded the Sudan government stop "randomly killing its own innocent men, women, and children" and discussed the dire need for foreign aid in Sudan.

"Immediately," Clooney told reporters. "We need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world — immediately."

The lawmakers joined the actor's efforts.

"We are protesting here today to make sure the government of Sudan knows that the world is watching; that the United States Congress is watching," McGovern said. "And we will be here again and again and again and again until this government stops using food as a weapon."

Green called on his fellow congressmen to take a tough stance on the leadership in Sudan.

George Clooney arrested at Sudan protest, Greg Nash photo"The Congress of America can do more to help the people of Sudan. We can impose sanctions; we can make the president of Sudan persona non grata. He should not be welcomed in any venue on the planet earth," he said. "It is time for us to take strong action to protect the people of Sudan."

When asked about his arrest, McGovern said, "I'm proud to be here doing this for this cause, this is important."

McGovern, along with Olver and other House Democrats introduced a bill last week that would require the Obama Administration to address the humanitarian crisis in Sudan and create a comprehensive strategy to deal with its leaders. 

Fresh off a trip from South Sudan's Nuba Mountains region last week, Clooney has been Washington most of this week to raise awareness about the situation in South Sudan, where people are taking shelter in the mountains after being forced from their homes by aerial raids.

Congressmen, Clooney arrested at Sudan protest, Josh Fatzick photoThe Academy Award-winning actor testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday about what he called "a campaign of murder" being carried out by al-Bashir, and Thursday he met with President Obama to discuss the issue further. He also attended Wednesday night's state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron.


— This story was updated at 1:21 p.m.