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George Clooney arrest inspires Twitter and raises Sudan awareness

The Ides of March, George Clooney

Story by Jack Foley

GEORGE Clooney may have confessed to feeling a little embarrassed about being arrested but his efforts have inspired Twitter and cast Sudan into the global spotlight.

Within hours of the first report of the actor being led away from Sudan’s embassy in Washington, DC, on Friday morning (March 16, 2012), George Clooney quickly started trending on Twitter.

Not long after that, a trending topic was born: #FreeClooney. It marked something of a victory for Clooney’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the struggle of the Sudanese people as the social networking platform began to offer activism through hashtags.

Although some of the Tweets took the form of jokes, there is a serious under-current that is lending weight to Clooney’s political will to see something done to ease the suffering in Sudan.

Among those pledging support for Clooney was actress Alyssa Milano, who re-Tweeted the hashtag with “#FreeClooney :)”.

Amnesty International, meanwhile, Tweeted: “Sudanese Embassy, George Clooney and #freeclooney now trending. Keep it up and RT our action!”

Joel Madden Tweeted: “I love George Clooney for standing up for what he believes in, and for knowing what is really going on in Africa.”

And Christian Sweda wrote: “Mr. Clooney, you have the right to remain flawless.”

Kety Shapazian Tweeted: “#FreeClooney and the THOUSANDS of Syrian men, women and even children being tortured by Assad’s forces as we sit here tweeting…”

The handle continues to produce tweets on a non-stop basis.

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