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National Guard moving out of Boston as protests continue

Boston National Guard (National Guard/Released)

The National Guard, whose Humvees and officers in fatigues have been a steady presence in the city’s streets for more than a week now, is on its way out of Boston.

“We’ve started to cut back on the National Guard in the city of Boston over the last couple of days,” Mayor Martin Walsh said Wednesday outside City Hall. “We’re going to be assessing as we move forward what that plan will be.”

The National Guard was called in after protests the last Sunday in May gave way to violence and looting from Downtown Crossing to Copley Square — and its members have remained though demonstrations have been peaceful ever since. They show up each day with “military police” vests and rifles to stand watch outside some of the city’s priciest — and currently boarded up — shops and help block streets during protests.

Walsh said Wednesday he had alerted the Back Bay Association of Business Owners that he was “in the process of phasing down” the Guard’s presence.

Gov. Charlie Baker activated the Guard on March 19 to assist the state’s coronavirus response. A Guard spokesman said Wednesday service members will remain at the request of local officials for as long as their services are needed.

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