U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and four other members of Congress were arrested this morning in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., as they protested the expulsion of aid groups in Darfur.
Before being led away in handcuffs during the mid-morning protest, Ellison said it's wrong to deprive aid to what he called "the most vulnerable people on our planet."
In prepared remarks he delivered at the embassy, Ellison said he situation Darfur "remains dire and the humanitarian situation has worsened since the March 4 expulsion of aid agencies."
He added, "we implore all countries to demand that the Government of Sudan respect and protect human rights and put an end to the acts of atrocities and crimes against humanity in Darfur."
How do I feel about it? I'll let Max Sparber at Secrets of the City speak for me:
Mr. Ellison, I wanted to write you in regards to your arrest today, and I am sure I am just one of many to write. I am in your district, and I voted for you. I have always been pleased to have you a representative, and have felt you do good work and represent the interests of your constituents fairly and honestly. I was also pleased that Minnesota's Fifth District was not bullied into being frightened of you as a candidate by endless reference to your religion and your relationships with others of your faith, and I think it has been very clear that you are in Congress representing everybody, not just Muslims.
But, before today, I have been satisfied with your work, but not been moved to write. I am writing because, with you taking such a public stand against the expulsion of the humanitarian workers from Darfur, I am no longer merely happy with your work as a Congressman; I am proud of you.
These are the kinds of things that a person who represents me, and who represents Minnesota, should be doing. In this one action today, symbolic though it largely is, Ellison has done more to improve this world than Michele Bachmann has done in the entire last month or, in fact, her entire tenure in office.