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G8 protesters clash with police in Germany

About 30,000 demonstrators clashed Saturday with 13,000 police who were pelted with stones and bottles during a protest in Rostock, Germany, before next week's G8 summit.

About 30,000 demonstrators clashed on Saturday with 13,000 police in violent protests in Rostock, Germany,over the upcoming G8 summit.

"The world shaped by the dominance of the G8 is a world of war, hunger, social divisions, environmental destruction, and barriers against migrants and refugees," organizers said in leaflets handed out on the streets of the northern port city.

Police trying to disperse the crowds were pelted with stones, bottles and sticks as the day-long demonstration expanded andbecame more violent.

Some stores and businesses boarded up windows as a precaution.

"This is apparently the largest police presence in the area since World War II," freelance reporter Damien McGuinness told CBC News.

"The only cars you see are police cars since all of the local residents have a taken theircarsout of the city and parked them elsewhere," he said.

The demonstrators were a disparate group of anti-globalization activists, left-wing groups, students and anarchists.

"You have violent anarchists right through to church groups," McGuinness said.

Some urged action from the G8 countries in the fight against HIV/AIDS, African poverty and climate change, while others questioned the legitimacy of the existence of the Group of Eight industrialized nations itself.

The summit June 6 to 8 will be held in the nearby northern resort town of Heiligendamm.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be among the G8 leaders welcomed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Russia and the United States are the other countries attending the summit.

"The whole town of Heiligendamm has been fenced off and demonstrators are not even allowed to go near the fence. That's why they decided to come to Rostock,"McGuiness said.

On theirwebsite, organizers emphasized they wanted a peaceful protest.

"There is no reason to be afraid to come to the big demonstration in Rostock," they said. "We will have a very big, very colourful and very strong demonstrations. We do not expect major problems with the police."

However, they then added: "This may be different with the actions following later in the week of protest."

With files from the Associated Press

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