DEVELOPING — Rep. Jim Moran and George Clooney Arrested at Embassy Protest

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2012 at 11:41 am 6,801 105 Comments

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) has been arrested at a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Northwest D.C., along with actor George Clooney and several other activists.

Moran’s office confirmed the arrest, which can be seen in this video from NBC Washington.

“Yes, [Rep. Moran] was taken into custody at the Sudan embassy protesting [Sudanese President Omar] al-Bashir’s actions to starve half a million people,” said Anne Hughes, the congressman’s press secretary.

In a press release yesterday afternoon, Moran’s office explained the impetus for the protest: “President al-Bashir has blocked food and humanitarian aid from entering Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions since June 2011, threatening starvation for half a million Sudanese.”

Moran and Clooney were joined at the protest by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.), Martin Luther King III, NAACP President Ben Jealous, and journalist Nick Clooney, the actor’s father, among other activists and religious leaders. See a press release from Moran’s office, about the protest and the arrests, after the jump.

Photo courtesy United to End Genocide

Rep. Moran, George Clooney, Congressional Leaders, Protestors Arrested at Sudan Embassy

Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, was arrested this morning at the Sudan Embassy during a protest against Sudan President Omar al-Bashir’s blockade of food and humanitarian aid to half a million people. Joining Moran at the protest were actor George Clooney and his father Nick Clooney, Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Olver (D-MA) and Al Green (D-TX), Martin Luther King III, NAACP Ben Jealous, actor Dick Gregory, and John Prendergast co-founder of the Enough Project.

“There is a moral imperative for those of us who, but for the luck of birth, benefit every day from peace and prosperity to speak out for those who face the atrocities of starvation and oppression,” said Moran at the protest. “Today, we walk up to the doorway of Omar al-Bashir’s Embassy, and say loud and clear: Enough.”

Since June 2011, Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has blocked humanitarian and food aid to the South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Abyei regions along the border of South Sudan. Today’s protest drew attention to the aerial attacks by Sudanese forces against civilians displaced by the conflict, as well as the continued refusal of the Bashir government to allow humanitarian access to aid groups. Military action in the region has prevented the Sudanese people from growing and planting food, threatening starvation.

Rep. Moran is a cosponsor of the “Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012,” H.R. 4169, which would create a comprehensive strategy for ending serious human rights violations, promoting democratic reform, and establishing lasting peace in Sudan.

Moran is a longtime advocate for peace and stability in Sudan. In 2006, Moran was arrested at the Sudan Embassy during a protest against the genocide in Darfur.

To read more on the “Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2012,” please visit: http://mcgovern.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=15&sectiontree=168,15&itemid=621

  • nunya

    attaboys. you can celebrate your arrests and st. paddy’s day in the hoosegow.

    • OralePues

      OMG he is soooo dreamy!!

  • G Clifford Prout

    Y A W N

  • drax

    It’s not like they announced in advance that they intended to be arrested or anything.

  • Swag

    pfft. Only there because Clooney was there and he knew he might get mentioned as an “also arrested” if/when the media covers it.

    Probably couldn’t even find the Sudan on a map.

    • Tabs

      Presumably he does know where it is, because he’s been there and has witnessed the horror first-hand.

      What are you doing to help humanity?

  • Rebecca

    the consequences for celebrities and rich people getting arrested are so off. If I got arrested, as an average person, I’d most likely have trouble finding a job and I’d lose my clearance.

    George Clooney arrested for protesting = hero
    Average Jane at same protest arrested = activist nutjob.

    • KalashniKEV

      Fixed it for you:

      George Clooney = activist nutjob.

      • drax

        What’s your definition of an activist nutjob, Kev, and are there any activists who aren’t nutjobs? Like who?

        • CW

          Ammunition hoarders; simply exercising their second amendment rights.

          • KalashniKEV

            People need to stop with the ammo hoarding… it’s making the market go crazy.

            I had ammo appreciate 3x in price over a period of several months during the last election.

        • KalashniKEV

          There are, of course, plenty of activists who are not nut jobs. George Clooney isn’t one of them though. Neither is Sean Penn.

          • drax

            You didn’t quite answer my question, Kev. Please read it again and respond, thanks.

          • KalashniKEV

            An activist nutjob is someone who interrupts your normal patterns of life to deliver their special little opinion, and expects you to care about it. Usually they also expect you to agree with them… which is often ridiculous.

          • Louise

            Kev, don’t you do this every day, right here?

          • KalashniKEV

            In the comments section of a Blog- yes… where it is entirely appropriate.

            Mr. Moran and Clowny’s behavior was inappropriate- which is why they were arrested, and sent to jail.

            Do you really fail to see the difference?

      • HughJassPhD

        George Clooney = sanctimonious activist nutjob.


    • Steamboat Willie

      Um, that’s the point, or are you joking?

      • Steamboat Willie

        Responded to Rebecca, not the resident right wing paranoider.

    • karen cassady

      Rebecca, you are so correct. I only wish they would keep Moran in jail.

  • JamesE

    No Matt Damon?

  • Quoth the Raven

    If I told my boss I was going to go on a protest during the work day, and ended up in jail for a day or two, I’d likely get fired. And I should be. So, why can politicians get away with it? They were elected to represent their constituents. They were not elected to go get their silly selves arrested, however noble their sentiment may be.

    • Steamboat Willie

      No offense, but the public at large wouldn’t care that you got arrested.

      In other words, +1 to Good for Them below.

      • Quoth the Raven

        I understand that no one would care if I got arrested, but by saying that, you suggest that there is some benefit to Moran getting arrested, rather than him sitting at his desk doing his job. And I’m not sure there is such a benefit. As “Good for Them” says below, Clooney is famous and thus his arrest could get some notoriety. But for a rep to get arrested? He ends up looking like a clown.

        How’s this – maybe if more Congressmen show up to their jobs and actually DO something about Sudan ( vote on sanctions, more aid, whatever), perhaps the Sudanese gov’t would rething what it’s doing.

        • + 1000

        • Steamboat Willie

          Honest question – has Moran not voted for sanctions, more aid, whatever?

          Sitting at his desk doing his job? – he’s not an accountant, he’s a public figure.

          • Quoth the Raven

            He’s an elected representative – that’s his job. Tell me how protesting and getting arrested helps the people of Virginia. “Sitting at his desk” was a figure of speech – I meant that by ending up in jail, he’s not doing his job. (Insert joke here of politicians doing more for the country sitting in jail than in the Capitol). When politicians decide they’re celebrities, I submit they are not doing their jobs, as their egos become more important than the people who elected them in the first place.

          • Josh S

            Whether this all applies to Moran or not is a different question, but I’d say that leading / representing sometimes does involve public “stunts” like this. George Bush certainly got a lot of praise after he went to Ground Zero in NYC shortly after the Twin Towers fell.

            Again, there may be specific reasons applicable to Moran in this instance to criticize him. But in general, elected officials do need to occasionally make these public stands / raise public awareness, etc.

          • Andrew

            You’re comparing Moran getting arrested to Bush going to Ground Zero? Really?

    • drax

      If you go to a protest for a good cause and get arrested for a peaceful act, your employer shouldn’t fire you. That’s the larger point you’re missing.

      • novasteve

        That’s all subjective. “Good cause”?

        I could go to a proteste to end poverty in Israel and if my employer were Islamic, they could consider that hateful.

        • Josh S


          • novasteve

            Because not too many muslims support the right of Israel to even exist.

        • drax

          Yes, it’s subjective, but that’s not the point. The point is that an employer should consider the cause.

          • novasteve

            So what would a catholic employer thinking about an employee being arrested at a pro abortion rally?

          • drax

            I don’t know, Steve. You’re still not getting it.

          • ummmm, no

            you *do* realize that Virginia is a right to work state and that employers don’t have to consider much of anything when deciding whether or not to fire you? Your employer could fire you for no reason (or for posting too many times each day to ArlNow) and there isn’t anything you could do about it in either case.

          • drax

            You mean an “at-will” state. Right to work means you can’t be required to join a union if you have a union-represented job, it has nothing to do with employee rights. Unions and union contracts are quite legal in Virginia – that is set by federal law so Virginia couldn’t ban unions even if it wanted to. (This doesn’t include state workers).

        • brif

          yes steve, protesting against a person under indictment by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity is a good cause by any standard of subjectivity.

          • John K.

            Unless your employer has the contract to run the oil pipelines coming out of South Sudan to Port Sudan…

          • brif

            i disagree. Business would be easier for the employer if Omar al-Bashir were out of power.

      • Quoth the Raven

        If you are supposed to be at your job, but are at a protest instead, that’s wrong. If you get arrested, and miss even more work time because you’re in jail, then that’s wrong too. And you should be fired.

        If you’re protesting on your own time, then I agree with you.

        • drax

          I agree, of course.

        • zzzzz

          So it’s okay if I use vacation time to protest and spend time in jail, court, etc?

          • Quoth the Raven

            Sure. It’s your vacation. Spend it however you want.

          • nom de guerre

            I’m sure you wouldn’t be the first person to try to use their vacation leave while they were in jail.

  • Good for Them

    Say what you want, but I think it’s great that someone is drawing attention to the government-sponsored genocide in the Sudan. Clooney is famous, and the fact is that fame has power. Good on him for using the “currency of his celebrity” (as Bono called it) to do some good in the world.

    And good for Moran too. Maybe if enough Congressmen show up and protest, the Sudanese government would rethink what it’s doing.

    • Ed

      Can’t we just kill all the bad guys with drones? Drones make everything better.

    • torsionbar

      I don’t think our elected officials, whose salaries are paid from our tax dollars, ought to be spending their working hours breaking the law and getting arrested in illegal street protests. And people wonder why government has such a difficult time accomplishing anything.

  • KalashniKEV

    He should make a video on Facebook!

    I’ll bet if enough people “like” it, Africa will cease to be such a miserable, hellish continent!

    • drax

      They should retweet that too, just to be sure. And sign an online petition. That will do the trick.

  • ooooohhhhhhhhh please. Give me a break.

  • G Clifford Prout

    But George is lookin’ hot in the scruff.

    • oh yeahhh

      Mmmm sure is.

      • OldTimer

        Don’t drop that bar of Irish Spring soap tomorrow!

  • BoredHouseWife

    good for them standing up for their beliefs.

  • Contrarian in Arlington

    Any truth to the rumor that Clooney offered Cong Moran a small role playing a casino collections guy in “Ocean’s 14”??

    • Arlingtoon

      The talks fell through. The studio was insisting on simulated violence; Moran insisted on the real thing.

  • novasteve

    he crossed a police line. If you were on the job and you got arrested for basically tresspassing, should your employer pay your wages while you were detained? That’s what Moran is making us do for him despite his CHOICE to break the law.

    • Marc

      Interesting on the timing. In order for Moran to get arrested for this Congress had to be out of session since the Constitution states that “shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses and in going to and returning from the same.”

      Congress adjourned this morning at 10:02am and is not in session until March 19.

      • drax

        Maybe Congress adjourned just for the chance to see Moran go to jail.

    • Good for Them

      I’m happy to pay for his time while detained.

      Whoever suggested drones: Sure–drones, DEVGRU, whatever it takes–I would support anything that would rid the world of Omar al Bashir.

    • wimmer201

      How does your employer feel about paying you to spend all day on this web site posting 400 times about increasingly ridiculous topics?

  • T.G.E.0.A….

    Please use the taser

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      I hope they have a hard time getting the ink off their fingertips and their arms are sore from sitting on their handcuffed wrists.

      • geezer

        and I hope you get piles from sitting at your desk

        • TG30a

          I hope your HIV cocktail fails

          • karma

            expect a visit from me too

          • wow!!

            you really lowered the bar there you disgusting creep

          • Tabs

            Disgusting, isn’t it?

            Uneven moderation around here…

  • novasteve

    While I respect Clooney for his stance on this issue, he honestly has NOTHING to lose from being arrested and getting a criminal record other than probably travel restrictions. If you were just some regular person, who had a regular job, you could be seriously impacted by this, could affect your employment and future prospects, while a record won’t affect an actor in the slightest. It’s not really “brave” to get arrested when you have nothing to lose by getting arrested. He might not be able to enter canada, but that’s about it.

    • Wordly

      I don’t think he would disagree with you. But no one is suggesting this is something everyone should do.

  • JimPB

    Is there no concern among the commenters about the hundreds of thousands of fellow human beings in the Sudan who are being abused, starved and killed?

    May the bell that tolls for the suffering and deaths in the Sudan be a bell that arouses us to action.

    I admire the protestors at the Sudan embassy for using their names and bodies to witness and act for decency and life against oppression and death. I wish I had their courage to act.

    • PL25rd

      +1000. Thank you!

    • KalashniKEV


      We should arm this insurgent minority and make them win at all costs.

    • John K.

      Nope. Now that we’ve carved out South Sudan and its’ oil… Sudan can go the way of Rwanda in 1994 for all that most people care. You want people to care? Tie it into god, gays, or guns (or gas).

    • Tabs

      The usual suspects here are insanely jealous of George Clooney and too worked up every time Moran (or any high-profile Democrat) does anything—to pay any attention to the suffering of others.

      • Quoth the Raven

        You’re right. I criticize Moran’s ego-fueled arrest because I’m jealous of George Clooney.

      • KalashniKEV

        I don’t understand why you think I would be jealous… but you’re right. starvation is inhumane.

        If al-Bashir wants to crush JEM once and for all, he should begin clearing operations and kill them all humanely… or is it JEM that’s supposed to kill all the supporters of the government?

        I’m having trouble picking sides…

    • Zoning Victim

      But the US can’t be the world’s police force, remember?

  • Concerned Citizen

    Is there any chance at all that they will be convicted and receive life sentences so we won’t have to suffer any more of these shenanigans?

  • Citizen

    Wow. So many selfish, sanctimonious jerks on this comment section. Do any of you recall that the original protestors were the founders of this country? And the suffragettes, and the civil rights movements were protestors, too. So now you criticize these two for protesting Sudan? You are a sad, sad bunch.

    • Quoth the Raven

      Sanctimonious? Thanks, kettle. How does criticizing Moran make me selfish?

      If you’re happy with an elected official sitting in jail, rather than at his job, that’s fine. That’s your opinion. I happen to have a different one.

      But to equate criticism of Moran with some sort of callous disregard for the plight of the Sudanese is inane and offensive.

      You see, one can criticize Moran, and STILL feel for the people of Sudan. Look – I’m doing both things, RIGHT NOW!!!!

    • thecharlesriver

      Last I checked, someone can protest and still comply with the lawful orders of the police. Doing otherwise is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    • thecharlesriver

      By the way “taking a pinch” to build your resume as a warrior of “social justice” is fine for academics and college students. But it’s unbecoming of elder statesmen.

    • novasteve

      How does Moran breaking US law help anyone? Let alone people in Sudan?

    • Arlingtonian

      What was so great about the founders of our country, the suffragettes or the civil rights protesters?

      The founders of our country started a rebellion that destroyed property and lives. They rebelled from a parliamentary democracy that had a king with little real power. They were in a minority within their own populations. British colonies in Canada did not join them or become disloyal during the War of 1812.

      A financial depression and a worthless currency followed the American revolution. The revolution inspired an even bloodier rebellion and reign of terror in France that ended only when Napoleon staged a coup d’etat.

      Canada, Australia and many other British colonies subsequently obtained their independence without rebellions or resultant depressions. Nobody wanted a repetition of the American experience.

      As for the suffragettes, many women did not support them. For good reason, considering that men were subject to conscription and women were not. That probably won’t happen in any future draft.

      As for the civil rights protesters. They accomplished nothing that the contemporary liberal Supreme Court, President and Congress (which had a weakened and politically divided Southern delegation) would have surely have done without their efforts.

      • jackson

        This is probably why I’m just going to stop reading the comments here entirely.

  • thecharlesriver

    The ghost story makes MUCH more interesting reading than anything about George Clowny

    • novasteve

      I really respect him for this. He could be out partying, banging supermodels, but he chooses to do something productive to help others. I know he’s a lib, but I really really respect him for this. he should not be violating laws, but I find myself having to defend him here.

  • Arlingtonian

    If Moran really wants to change things in Sudan, he can sponsor a Congressional declaration of war. He can also sponsor or support all sorts of less drastic Congressional actions. Those of us who are not elected to Congress can’t do any of these things.

    Keep Moran in jail and throw away the keys. That may serve as an example to the many other members of Congress who also cause the public to disrespect the institution in which they serve.

    • KalashniKEV

      I don’t think they should “keep” him in jail given the severity of his crimes- or at least those he stands accused of currently.

      I think they should give him a rifle and send him to Sudan if he cares so much. I’m sure JEM will welcome him with open arms.

    • smokin01

      THANK YOU for your intelligent remark. Moran won’t get my vote when his term is up. Everyone needs to remember this date when Moran tries to get re-elected.

  • Arlingtonian

    Re. Moran: Those who make the laws should’t break the laws.

    • lebele

      Amen. There is no excuse for a Congressman to break laws, no matter how worthy the cause.

      Rep Moran could have attended the event and remained a legal distance from the embassy grounds. With media present, that would have been sufficient while upholding his oath of office.

  • eBunker

    I doubt that Cong. Moran gives a rat’s a$$ about Sudan. but rather saw an opportunity for publicity and a boost to his re-election campaign.

  • jim

    Moran did a whole lot of good by getting arrested. The guy is a friggin’ embarrassment in SO many ways……………….

  • thecharlesriver

    They both remind me of that annoying Geico commercial with the pig squealing wheeeeee! Except these two are saying looking at meeeeeeeeeee! meeeeeeeeee! meeeeeeee! Look at meeeee!

  • John Andre

    This is not really an Arlington story…except to those righties who keep trying to get rid of Jim Moran. There’s a better way to try that…a Democratic primary challenge.

    • thecharlesriver

      First, Moran is the Arlington rep so it applies as an Arlington story.

      Secondly, the world isn’t comprised of just Democrats and “righties” and the critics of Moran are coming from other ideologies than just the right.

    • smokin01

      Keep Moran in jail.

  • PUP


  • brendan

    “Moran and Clooney were joined at the protest by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. John Oliver (D-Mass.), Martin Luther King III, NAACP President Ben Jealous, and journalist Nick Clooney, the actor’s father, among other activists and religious leaders.”

    It’s Olver not Oliver.


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