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Minister on day of violence: ‘With … this kind of anger, what’s going to happen?’

The Rev. Emmetri Beane, 51, of Culpepper, Va., arrived in Charlottesville early yesterday morning as part of a group of interfaith leaders to lead a peaceful march in protest of the white nationalist rally. Huddled inside the First United Methodist Church, Beane told the Herald’s Kathleen McKiernan about how quickly the protests descended into chaos and bloodshed.

“I’ve been here since 7 a.m. People are very hot, very tired and very emotional. … We were intended to be a peaceful presence.

There was always a perimeter between us and the other group. We could hear them. We could hear them chanting.

All of a sudden we were asked to back off a bit and they were being dispersed. … We saw the police arrive. We saw the riot gear arriving. We could sense something was about to happen and then it was happening. I was amazed by the level of the noise … it was chaotic. …

We were gathered outside the church in the parking lot area and this group came by. It was a larger group that was much more aggressive and so the security and people in charge of our safety here told us to go away from the door of the church. …

I’m so scared — so, so scared. Not just for myself but for the other people who are out there. Is everybody inside? Are we all safe? I still have to walk to my car to get home tonight and I really don’t have a plan how I’m going to get home. How am I getting to my car? It’s those practical things. This is not a completely stable situation here. It’s scary. It is very frightening. …

I am 51 years old, I am black and I’m not shocked — I’m sad. I’m sad that this is happening in my community — a community I have deep ties to. …

I have to be here. If nothing else because my faith tells me that you have to stand up. You have to be present.

I have no idea where this is going today. What I’m more concerned about is where is this going to be in a week. … That’s what really stays on my mind. With this kind of protesting,…

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