Police set up a barricade around Anita Place Tent City on the weekend. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Six arrested after confrontation at B.C. tent city

Police, firefighters and bylaw officers were enforcing a court injunction granted to the city

Six people were arrested Sunday for violating a court injunction at Maple Ridge’s homeless camp, including one man who barricaded himself inside a wooden structure.

Police and bylaw officers had set up a barricade around the Anita Place Tent City on Saturday, and residents were asked for identification to be put on a list for housing.

Police continued their keep-the-peace duties Sunday during enforcement of the injunction, which earlier this month gave the city authority to address fire safety issues in the camp on 223 Street.

“As always, the primary concerns of police are public safety, police officer safety, and the right to peaceful, lawful and safe protests within the terms set by the B.C. Supreme Court in the injunction,” said Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk.

“The B.C. Supreme Court has acknowledged the RCMP’s discretion with respect to enforcing the injunction and police may take enforcement action on a case-by-case basis if there are criminal activities or reports of individuals violating the court-ordered injunction.”

One tent city resident barricaded himself inside his wooden shelter on Sunday morning, refusing to allow firefighters, police or bylaw officers to enter.

Dwayne Martin, one of the original camp residents, was adamant that nobody was going to enter his “house.”

He was later arrested, along with Ivan Drury and Listen Chen, both with the Alliance Against Displacement.

Chen and two others had chained themselves to a ladder outside of Martin’s shelter as authorities attempted to take it down.

On Friday, firefighters had arrived to find the electrical service panel for the camp exposed to the elements and the electrical connections tampered with. Electricity was cut off and heat sources removed.

A significant number of propane tanks, patio heaters and gas-powered generators were also removed.

Inspections of tents and structures on the site is to continue Monday. The work will include cleaning up debris scattered around the site and examining the proximity of tents and structures to the fence and to each other.

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