A protester occupies the Hong Kong legislative council building in July 2019 (Image: The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP)

On July 1 2019, several hundred activists stormed Hong Kong’s legislative council complex. It was a group that had broken off from an earlier peaceful protest, one of the many that had been taking place over the months prior.

Pictures started flooding out of graffiti and damage done to the government building, of banners being hung in the building, of smashed glass. 

Yesterday, when rioters stormed the US Capitol building, pictures from both events started to be posted online, drawing simplistic comparisons between them. But the differences between the two events couldn’t be more stark.