George Clooney released following arrest at Sudan protest in Washington

George Clooney speaks to the press after he and his father were released from the Metropolitan Police second district station on March 16, 2012, in Washington.
Getty

(CBS/AP) WASHINGTON - Updated 3:05 p.m. EDT

George Clooney has been released following his arrest Friday during a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

The actor, his father, journalist Nick Clooney, and others were arrested after being warned three times not to cross a police line outside the embassy. Those taken into custody included NAACP President Ben Jealous, Martin Luther King III, and actor and comedian Dick Gregory.

Pictures: George Clooney arrested in Washington
Pictures: His week in Washington
Pictures: George Clooney
Pictures: Nick Clooney

The protesters accused Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, of provoking a humanitarian crisis and blocking food and aid from entering the Nuba Mountains in the county's border region with South Sudan.

Clooney was released several hours later after paying a $100 fine.

"What we've been trying to achieve today is we're trying to bring attention to an ongoing emergency," he told reporters following his release. "Our job right now is to try to bring attention to it, and one of those ways was, apparently, get arrested."

"We hope people understand there really is a ticking clock on this and we need to get moving," he added. "There's been amazing progress at times. There've been some great strides, but on the other hand, there's an awful lot that's still going on."

Clooney also joked about what it was like in jail: "It was really rough, you can imagine. Have you ever been in a cell with these guys?"

The actor said this was his first arrest, adding, "And let's hope it's my last."

Several members of Congress were also arrested, including Massachusetts Reps. James McGovern and John Olver, Texas Rep. Al Green and Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia. They were handcuffed and placed into a U.S. Secret Service van.

Clooney's arrest came after he met this week with President Barack Obama, testified in the Senate and attended a state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Read more: Clooney's arrest caps week in Washington

"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," Clooney said before his arrest.

"It's such a silly thought to think you're actually succeeding in any of this," he added. "But if it's loud enough - and you keep making it 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."

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download
The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App