Earlier this morning, George Clooney was handcuffed and arrested while attending a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C.
The 50-year-old actor and humanitarian participated in the event to protest Sudan's treatment of its people, in particular the blocking of aid, food and continued violence in the border regions. Clooney's father, Nick, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia, former U.S. Rep. Tom Andrews of Maine and NAACP President Ben Jealous were also arrested.
Speaking to a large crowd gathered in front of the embassy, Clooney called upon the Sudanese government to "stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children. Stop raping them, and stop starving them."
His arrest caps off a busy week of raising awareness on the present situation in Sudan, complete with testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and private meetings with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was also quick to hit every major news outlet and share video and stories from his most recent trip to the war-torn region.
"We found children filled with shrapnel, including a 9-year-old boy who had both of his hands blown off," he said. "It is a campaign of murder, fear and displacement and starvation."
[UPDATE] Clooney and the others arrested were released this afternoon. Speaking to reporters afterwards, he said, "You never know if you are accomplishing anything. ... We hope it helps."
Based on the craze that erupted online in the wake of the arrests, I'm willing to bet the action did help. More people on Twitter (where hashtags involving Clooney and Sudan saturated several of the top spots for hours) are now aware of the situation than ever before. Awareness is key - something the actor has been trying to build for years.
And as for being naughty in the future, you can expect it. "Let's hope it's my last," he said after noting it was his first-ever arrest.
Watch video of the protest and Clooney speaking before his arrest below.
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