Presbyterian Outlook editor Jill Duffield was among those in Charlottesville, Virginia, who turned out Saturday (Aug. 12) in opposition to a sometimes-violent white nationalist rally that many condemned as demonstrating racism and bigotry.
Duffield documented some of what happened — starting with a “Love Over Fear” sunrise prayer service at First Baptist Church that included a blessing of the peacemakers and those trained in non-violent resistance, and remarks by Cornel West, a Harvard professor and social activist. Duffield has been working with the Charlottesville Clergy Collective as it organized a faith-based response to the white nationalists’ “Unite the Right” rally. After the service, counter-protesters marched through the streets — providing a public witness to the importance of love, compassion, peacefulness and diversity.
The governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, declared a state of emergency. White nationalists marched Aug. 11 at the University of Virginia, in a demonstration that university Teresa A. Sullivan condemned, calling it “disturbing and unacceptable.” The situation on the ground in Charlottesville was often ugly, and at times turned violent.
Faith leaders were among those calling for love, not hate.
Photos by Jill Duffield.