Charlottesville pastor flees live interview as clergy attacked

An African-American pastor was forced to bolt mid-interview after white nationalist protesters swarmed Charlottesville, Virginia with clubs and brass knuckles and attacked her colleagues.

In disturbing footage from the live MSNBC broadcast, Reverend Traci Blackmon is seen being pushed off screen and fleeing the area as neo-fascist groups near.

Rev Blackmon spoke for about a minute on a service her church had held to encourage people "who wanted to provide a witness of love, in anticipation of the march".

However as she was speaking about the drama unfolding while that service was going on, a security guard approached her from behind and swiftly took her out of shot and towards safety.

"I gotta go, I gotta go, I gotta go!" she can be heard screaming, terrified as she's whisked away from the violence.

"Oh my goodness, I don't know what is happening here," interviewer Joy Reid responds, shocked and clearly worried for Rev Blackmon's safety.

Shots from the television camera filming Rev Blackmon just seconds later captured a mass brawl erupting on the street just behind where she was speaking from.

Later in the MSNBC broadcast, producers got in contact with a colleague of Rev Blackmon's, Andy Supanic, who explained why she had ran away so hurriedly.

"They tried to enter the area and they assaulted clergy, they assaulted local peace activists and they assaulted anti-fascist activists," he said.

"They were using clubs, bats, and what appeared to be some sort of fortified gloves or brass knuckles."

Violent clashes were common occurrences during a white supremacist rally in the US city on Saturday (local time), which saw thousands take to the streets both in support and in protest of the demonstration.