28 October 2016
Pokemon GO players congregate in Tin Shui Wai to capture virtual monsters. Photos: TMHK, Bloomberg
Pokemon GO players congregate in Tin Shui Wai to capture virtual monsters. Photos: TMHK, Bloomberg

Pro-democracy groups ride on Pokemon craze to stage protests

With the popularity of Pokemon GO spreading like wildfire in Hong Kong, some pro-democracy groups have thought of using the mobile augmented reality game to mobilize support for political protests.

A Facebook group, People’s Wall News, has called on supporters to go catch the virtual monsters on Saturday in Mong Kok, where a protest will be held to denounce the recent crackdown on pro-independence candidates in the upcoming Legislative Council election, reports.

The organizers said the plan is to demonstrate people power against a recent move by the Electoral Affairs Commission requiring Legco candidates to sign a declaration supporting the Basic Law, the rejection of a petition for a judicial review filed by localist activist Edward Leung Tin-kei, and the prosecution of former Hong Kong University Students’ Union president Billy Fung King-yan.

They said although they did not apply for a “letter of no objection” to the police, participants will avoid getting arrested because they will just be standing at the protest venue as they calmly and silently try to catch the monsters on their handsets.

Another Facebook group, Hong Kong is not China, is organizing another mass playing of Pokemon Go at Tuen Mun Park on Saturday and Sunday to drive away the mainland “damas” or middle-aged women congregating at the park during weekends, according to Headline Daily.

A police spokesman said they are aware of plans by some Facebook groups to organize Pokemon activities and warned the protesters against stirring up unrest.

Another Facebook group, Pokegame, is organizing a similar activity in Mong Kok on Aug. 6, but this one will have no political agenda.

It’s actually a contest in which players will have to catch 12 specific Pokemons at three designated spots within four hours.

The contestant who accomplishes the task with the least amount of time will be declared champion, winning a cash prize of HK$3,000.

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