Tom Luongo presciently suggests that should we wish to understand better the context to these recent events – and not be stuck at stage appearances – we need to look to Hong Kong for indicators.

Writing in October 2019, Luongo noted that: “What started as peaceful protests against an extradition law and worry over reunification with China has morphed into an ugly and vicious assault on the city’s economic future. [This is] being perpetrated by the so-called “Block Bloc”, roving bands of mask-wearing, police-tactic defying vandals attacking randomly around the city to disrupt people going to work”.

An exasperated local man exclaims: “Not only you [i.e. Block Bloc protestors are] harming the people making their living in businesses, companies, shopping malls. You’re destroying subway stations. You’re destroying our streets. You’re destroying our hard-earned reputation as a safe, international business centre. You’re destroying our economy”. The man cannot explain why there was not a single police officer in sight, for hours, as the rampage continued.