A week after its release in Hong Kong, Pokémon Go continues to be the talk of the town, businesses are loving it, the PLA is rejecting it, and, amid all this chaos, wily activists are utilizing the augmented reality game to organize protests without informing the proper authorities.
Of course, Hong Kong is no stranger to protests. In 2014, tens of thousands of Hongkongers took to the streets each day calling for political reform in the Occupy Central movement. While the Umbrella Revolution eventually fizzled out, there is a new protest symbol on the horizon.
With the recent decision by the HKSAR government to disqualify a couple of pro-independence candidates from running in the upcoming LegCo election in the fall, some pro-democracy protest groups have decided that rather than inform police of their protest rallies, they would instead simply conceal the protests under the guise of the massively popular mobile game. Turns out, it’s hard to tell the difference between a large mob of roaming Pokémon trainers and a mass of political protesters.
At least, Hong Kong police have yet to crack down on the illegal gatherings, SCMP reports. Even though some organizers seem to have been rather careless about sharing their true intentions, posting information on Facebook about the upcoming rallies to be hosted through Pokemon Go.
In the post, Facebook group People’s Wall News told protesters that while they had not filed for permission for a rally in Mong Kok, attendees could avoid getting arrested by simply standing quietly and catching Pokémon.
It seems like people just keep finding new ways of politicizing an innocent game about imprisoning wild creatures and making them fight for you. Last month, a Chinese player took over a Pokemon gym located at the infamous Yasukuni Shrine with a Dragonite named “Long Live China!”
By Robin Winship
[Images via Oriental Daily]