Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison and four other members of Congress were arrested in Washington D.C. Monday morning.
They were protesting in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, criticizing the president of Sudan for alleged atrocities in the country and for expelling 16 aid agencies from Darfur.
Ellison's spokesman Rick Jauert told Mr. Scheck that Ellison, Georgia Rep. John Lewis and others were arrested after they crossed a police line. He said the group planned the arrest to bring attention to the situation in Darfur.
"It leaves these people with no lifeline whatsoever and so that is why the congressman and the other members of Congress have decided that they need to do something that hopefully will bring a heightened awareness to what is happening on our clock," Jauert said.
Jauert said Ellison was arrested for civil disobedience and should be released today. The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died in Darfur, where ethnic African rebel groups have been fighting the Arab-dominated national government for six years.
And here's the list of those arrested with Ellison: Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Lewis (D-GA), Donna Edwards (D-MD), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) along with Save Darfur Coalition president Jerry Fowler, Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast and Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
The AP has called the races in Minnesota's 4th and 5th Congressional Districts. DFL Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison are projected to retain their seats.