Montreal police rejected accusations Saturday that they were heavy-handed in arresting nearly 150 anti-globalization demonstrators.
Cmdr. Andre Durocher said police had information leading them to believe that violence was being planned at Friday night's protest in downtown Montreal.
Durocher said the protesters, who billed themselves as anti-capitalists protesting a weekend meeting in Montreal of labour ministers from G-8 countries, had objects that could be used as potential weapons.
"The quantity of weapons seized clearly shows the true intent of many of the demonstrators present," Durocher said at a news conference. ``Under the circumstances, our intervention was not only legal - it was necessary.
"There was a violent past with those demonstrators and there was also information to the effect they wanted to cause trouble.''
The objects seized included pool balls, Molotov cocktails, bricks, torches and gas masks.
Twenty-five people face a variety of criminal charges, including assault and mischief.
Police also issued 147 summonses for unlawful assembly.
But a spokeswoman for a human-rights group said the police went too far.
"Nothing in our law permits police to proceed with abusive and arbitrary arrests for preventive reasons," said Lucie Lemonde, vice-president of La Ligue des droits et libertes.
"They only have the right to arrest people who have committed an infraction or a criminal act."
Armed with batons and pepper spray, the anti-riot squad intervened before the evening demonstration began.
Most of those arrested were young.
Protest organizers from the Anti-Capitalist Convergence had promised to turn out to oppose the G-8 meeting. Some of their members greeted visiting ministers Thursday evening as they met with international union and business leaders at McGill University.
Karina Chagnon, a spokeswoman for the group, said earlier this week the meetings were a sham.
"The G-8 is the fuzzy mitten that drives the hidden hand of the market and the iron fist of the military," she said.
"The G-8 is like slavery. There is no way of reforming it. We must fight to abolish it."
Chagnon said protesters were also preparing to go to Ottawa on June 26-27 to demonstrate against the G-8 meeting to be held in Kananaskis, Alta. She was not specific about tactics.
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