Hundreds of noisy G8 and G20 protesters rallied in downtown Toronto yesterday during the third straight day of demonstrations in advance of the meetings of the world’s leaders.

It was the largest protest of the week, and the most tense as demonstrators at one point went face-to-face with police, who tried to keep the group of about 350 people at bay.

Protesters taunted officers with anti-police slogans as they marched with banners that denounced what they call environmental injustice.

More than 100 officers on motorcycles, bicycles and foot responded by lining together to form a human shield in an effort to keep the demonstration from spilling over onto businesses and homes.

In the end, the protesters disbursed peacefully after about three hours. There were no arrests.

Their target was the Alberta tarsands, the BP oil spill, mining by companies such as Barrick Gold, and global warming.

“The tarsands are turning First Nations aboriginal and treaty rights, land, water and the atmosphere into a dumping ground,” Jasmine Thomas of the Carrier Nation told the crowd.

“And for what? Destructive extractive industries are not the things we need when there are clean, just alternatives available.”