Nun Tackles Environmental Protester

( – There’s a battle taking place in southern France. However, the skirmish isn’t between government forces. It’s between environmentalists and local residents.

On October 14, members of the environmental group Les Amis de la Bourges (translated to Friends of the Village) protested the construction of a new religious complex in the village of Saint-Pierre-de-Colombier. A Catholic fundamentalist community has resided in the village since 1946. For years, it has had plans to build a large complex, but environmentalists have protested it. The group is arguing that the construction is threatening several rare plant species that haven’t been protected. Construction started in December 2018 and there are plans to build a basilica that could hold about 3,500 people.

Construction has had to start and stop multiple times because of protests. It resumed in 2022 after more environmental studies were completed.

Nuns from the Missionary Family of Notre-Dame surrounded the construction site. They formed a human chain to stop the eco-group from disrupting the site. At one point, an activist did something that caused a nun to charge at them and tackle them. Video of the shocking incident soon made its rounds on the internet.

Sylvain Hérenguel, an official with the Association for the Future of the Bourges Valley, told the press that they “didn’t expect that.” The official went on to blame the nun for the confrontation, alleging “the religious people decided to resort to violence.” They went on to claim they were “attacked three times by five people” and the nuns “decided to protect the site with their actions and their bodies.”

There were about 10 police officers at the site when the incident took place but nobody was arrested. After the nun took down the protester, she went back to her position and continued guarding the site peacefully.

The environmental group is asking for all construction to be paused.

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