Hollywood superstar George Clooney and his father were both arrested today during a protest that accused the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, of blocking food and aid from entering the Nuba Mountains and initiating a humanitarian crisis. Also arrested were Democratic US Republican Jim Moran, of Virginia, Martin Luther King III and NAACP President Ben Jealous. The arrest was made after they received three warnings not to cross a police line set up outside the embassy, and followed Clooney’s meeting with President Obama, testimony in the Senate and attendance at a state dinner held for Prime Minister David Cameron.
Speaking before the arrest, 50-year-old Clooney explained to The Associated Press that he was impressed with Obama’s engagement on the Sudanese topic and was hoping to bring people’s attention to the crisis currently unfolding in Sudan. He also said that for international leaders to expose corruption, they need to “follow the money” that is reaching the leaders of Sudan. “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.”
He also acknowledged the uphill struggle facing all those protesting, saying that “Its such a silly thought to think you’re actually succeeding in any of this. But if it’s 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.”