Gov. Charlie Baker activated the National Guard over the weekend at the request of municipal officials who sought backup resources if planned demonstrations grew larger than what local police could handle, he told reporters Tuesday.
Baker, who did not offer a detailed explanation when he activated 1,000 Guardsmen on Friday, said during his first public appearance since last week that city and town leaders flagged event pages on social media and inquired about assistance from the state.
An Executive Office of Public Safety and Security spokesperson referenced "potential large scale demonstrations" late Monday night when Baker deactivated the guard.
The governor did not explicitly describe any of the reported weekend events. Local news reports covered demonstrations against police violence and against the state's new mandate for all K-12 students to receive flu shots.
"There were somewhere between 45 and 50 events at one time or another that were posted on a variety of social media sites toward the end of last week," Baker said Tuesday at an event along the Green Line outside the Museum of Fine Arts. "Some of them had very big numbers in terms of the anticipated attendance, and we heard from a number of municipal officials who asked us if we would have people available to support them if those events turned out to be bigger than what they would be able to manage on their own, and we did what we always do, which is we put out a message that we were activating accordingly."
"(The Guard) then basically stayed in place unless and until we heard from local officials," he continued. "The great thing about this is: everybody came out, they did their thing. Their voices were heard, we didn't hear from any municipal officials and after we didn't hear from them, we deactivated (the Guard)."
~ Chris Lisinski/SHNS