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UPDATE: Rep. McGovern Arrested with George Clooney, Others During Protest

During a protest in front of the Sudanese embassy in Washington Friday morning, police arrested Marlborough's congressman James McGovern, actor George Clooney and others.

UPDATE, 1 p.m.: Press Secretary Michael Mershon told Patch that "He's at the 2nd District station in D.C. He will pay a small fine out of his own pocket and then be released," referring to McGovern. 

Worcester Magazine said that McGovern has been arrested twice before this incident on similar charges.

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U.S. Rep. James McGovern's (D-Worcester) official Twitter feed reported shortly before 11:30 a.m. Friday that he had been arrested along with actor George Clooney during a protest in front of the Sudanese embassy in Washington D.C. 

McGovern was there protesting what Clooney told Congress on Wednesday was a "campaign of murder" perpetrated by the Sudanese government. 

"Rep. McGovern, George and Nick Clooney have been arrested following a civil disobedience protest in front of the Sudanese embassy," tweeted staff members.

Marlborough Patch left a message with McGovern's press secretary Michael Mershon late Friday morning, but had not received an official comment as of this post.  

Nick Clooney is the father of the actor, and a career journalist. U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, was also arrested during the protest.

"What you see is a constant drip of fear," Clooney said, a day after returning from a trip in which he and a small team of fellow activists managed to enter one of the most devastated areas, the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, according to CNN.

Speaking before the large crowd that gathered to watch the protest Clooney called for immediate action.

"We need immediate humanitarian aid into Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world," said the actor, according to an MSNBC report. 

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available. 

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David Perry March 16, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The MA Representatives should worry about their own constituents. Since when were they elected to represent the Sudanese? Our streets are a mess. Our bridges are worse. Our schools need focus. Our citizens need jobs and security. Between a Governor who is more interested in "book deals" and Representatives fighting for people outside our borders, it is out of control. Many a wise man has said to worry about others only after you've cleaned your own back yard.
Neil Licht March 16, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I can see David's point but since when does being elected mean that you give up your own personal beliefs? I am not a fan of Rep McGovern BTW so please don't take this as a stand on his political beliefs. Freedom of speech is a basic right of our political system here. Rep McGovern was entitled to make his point. Remember, He wasn't voting on behalf of us via his actions on the House floor, he was acting as Mr. McGovern outside of his "job" on a matter he felt he should speak out on Neil Licht.
C Dwyer March 16, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I agree totally with David. Rep McGovern has a right to free speech and protest on his own time. Was this a day off for him, or was he down there doing the peoples business? If it wasn't a day off for him, he needs to be doing the things for the people he represents and leave the protest to his own "personal" time. Cyndy Dwyer
J Bruce Gabriel March 16, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I think McGovern needs to focus more on taking care of Americans. I agree with David Perry: "Since when were they elected to represent the Sudanese?" With his arrest, it may be that Mc Govern is just where he belongs! Go back to your office Jim and start trying to solve America's problems!
Neil Licht March 16, 2012 at 07:58 PM
So one must give away their personal values if elected to office? On the house floor, yes they represent us and are supposed to reflect the constituent's wished and views. That's what our indirect democracy is about. For instance Remember JFK, a Catholic having to say that as President, he would not be ruled by the Pope? Its the same thing. People have a personal moral code and it is a part of who they are. In elected positions, while doing your job in congress on the floor or in meetings, the moral code is not your guide. Outside the walls of Congress while "off the clock" so to speak, it is your guide. Chastizing Rep McGovern on this issue is like saying you can not march in the St. Patrick's parade if you are an elected official because its really an Irish tradition and not a place for an elected official to be or participate. Post your examples of McGovern's failures as a rep and we can deal with that and should. Hey, there's a thought!
David LaBossiere March 16, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I agree with Neil. It's all about our basic freedom of speach. All Americans, even those in elected office have that right. As far as being on the clock, as an elected official he is theoretically on the clock 24/7. If he is not in the well then he has the same right as you and I to exercise his freedom of speach.
David Perry March 17, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Well then I'd like to see if this trip was during business hours, paid for out of his own pocket (to include any repercussions) etc. Furthermore, doesn't any "arrest" affect his clearance, or other requirements for the job. Was this also in violation of the new "protesting within distance of protected persons" or whatever new law was passed?

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