A rally will be held this afternoon in Nanaimo as supporters of a downtown tent city protest a fire department order requiring residents to remove all tarpaulins from the camp.

Members of the encampment say the order is not aimed at fire safety but instead is a form of bullying – and they say it shows the Nanaimo fire department has become politicized by what they call the “anti-homeless” climate in the city.

Occupants of the growing encampment were given one week to comply when the order was announced last week – and when they didn't, campers say a fire inspector told them an enforcement order would be requested.

The protest comes as a B.C. Supreme Court judge mulls Nanaimo's request for an injunction to dismantle the camp.