Saperstein, lawmakers arrested in Darfur protest

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, is arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy on April 27, 2009 while protesting the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Darfur. ( Save Darfur Coalition)

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, is arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy on April 27, 2009 while protesting the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Darfur. ( Save Darfur Coalition)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A top Reform Jewish leader and five U.S. Congress members were arrested for civil disobedience outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism,  joined other Darfur activists and Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) Monday to protest the Sudanese government’s expulsion last month of 13 international aid agencies and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The group spoke on the steps of the embassy, according to a Save Darfur Coalition news release, and then would not leave the scene when they were asked to by police. Also arrested was Save Darfur Coalition president Jerry Fowler and Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast.

The groups say that the Sudanese decision to expel aid groups will leave 1.1 million civilians without food aid, 1.5 million without health care and more than 1 million without potable water.

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