Five Lawmakers Arrested In Darfur Protest

Five Democratic members of Congress were arrested today outside the Sudanese embassy near Dupont Circle in northwest Washington, DC today while protesting the government's decision to evict aid workers from the country. They were: Reps. John Lewis (GA), James McGovern (MA), Donna Edwards (MD), Keith Ellison (MN), and Lynn Woolsey (CA).

The arrests were planned, according to a spokesman for one of the members. Addressing a crowd of about 50 protesters, the lawmakers delivered remarks and then crossed a police line, two spokesmen said. After being given three warnings, the lawmakers were arrested, cuffed, and taken to the DCPD's second precinct for processing.

The Sudanese embassy is no stranger to protests, or even to congressional arrests: in April of 2006, five members including McGovern staged a similar protest in front of the embassy, where McGovern was also arrested.

The lawmakers were hit with $100 fines and are being released this afternoon (Woolsey has already been released, according to spokesman Chris Shields). They were arrested around 10:30 a.m.