Anti-fracking protesters were armed to the teeth: RCMP

RCMP monitor an anti-fracking protest near Rexton, N.B. on Thursday Oct. 17, 2013. Mounties were...

RCMP monitor an anti-fracking protest near Rexton, N.B. on Thursday Oct. 17, 2013. Mounties were trying to enforce an Oct. 3 court injunction against the standoff near Rexton, where SWN Resources Canada is testing for shale gas. Handout/Twitter/stimulator

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:31 PM ET

MONCTON, N.B. — Mounties say Native protesters at a shale gas exploration site in New Brunswick were armed to the teeth.

RCMP displayed a table full of guns, homemade explosives, knives and bear spray at a news conference in Fredericton.

Natives have been decrying what they considered heavy-handed police actions after 40 protesters were arrested at a highway blockade near Rexton on Thursday.

"Peaceful protests don't require a large police presence," RCMP Commanding Officer Roger Brown told media Friday. "When you get into a protest that has this type of criminal behaviour and criminal element, it requires a much different police response."

He said police only made arrests after six cruisers were set on fire.

Nobody was seriously hurt, police said.

Some anti-fracking protesters facing charges ranging from mischief to uttering threats were expected to be held in jail over the weekend.


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