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National Guard Activated By Baker With No Clear Mission

Gov. Charlie Baker called 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard into active duty over the weekend in case city or town officials needed their help with unspecified issues.

Though the governor's order did not give a detailed reason for the activation and his administration said the order was given "in the event that municipal leaders require their assistance," the call-up coincided with a weekend that saw violence crop up at and around demonstrations over policing and racial justice in other parts of the country.

"Governor Baker today signed an order activating up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard in the event that municipal leaders require their assistance. National Guard personnel are deployed only at the request of, and in coordination with, the communities seeking support," a spokesman of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said in a statement Friday evening.

The governor's order says the Guard was being called upon "to provide necessary assistance to State and local civilian authorities and/or special duty and emergency assistance for the preservation of life and property, preservation of order, and to afford protection to persons." The order is to remain in effect until further notice from Adjutant General Gary Keefe.

It was not immediately clear Monday morning whether or where the Guard was deployed. On Sunday, one Boston-area reporter shared video that appeared to show about two dozen Guard personnel and rows of Guard vehicles in Boston.

Another reporter posted a photo from a demonstration in Roxbury where attendees held signs critical of Baker's decision to call upon the National Guard.

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