TIMELINE: Olympic torch protests around the world

(Reuters) - The Olympic torch made its way through the streets of Pyongyang in front of flag-waving masses on Monday after North Korea promised its main benefactor China an “astonishing” show certain to be free of protest.

Demonstrations against China’s human rights record as well as patriotic rallies by Chinese who criticized the West for vilifying Beijing have marred the global torch relay.

Here is a list of disruptions.

* March 24, 2008: Human rights protesters breach security to try to disrupt the torch-lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, home of the ancient Olympics. Relay runners are briefly held up when several demonstrators lie in front of a convoy of cars.

* March 30: Small group of Tibet activists try to stop flame entering Athens stadium for handover to Chinese officials. The group fails to break through security cordon and is quickly removed by Greek police.

* April 6: Thousands of protesters wave Tibetan flags and shout “Shame on China” as the torch relay passes through London. One man gets his hands on the torch before being wrestled to the ground. The torch is hurried on to a double-decker bus when about 100 protesters rush towards it. At least 35 people are arrested.

* April 7: Paris officials extinguish the flame at least twice and carry the torch by bus when protesters try to seize it. The flame’s scheduled five-hour passage is cut short after thousands of protesters block its path.

* April 9: San Francisco changes torch route at the last minute, wrong-footing thousands of protesters and counter-protesters lining the original planned route through the city, where a fifth of the population is ethnically Chinese.

* April 17: Thousands of exiled Tibetans take part in a parallel relay, as the torch is paraded in New Delhi. A security cordon of 15,000 Indian police and guards keeps protesters far from the route, which was cut by a third.

* April 19: In Bangkok, about 200 China supporters taunt scores of pro-Tibet demonstrators as police man barricades to protect the torch on its route beginning in the city’s China Town.

* April 24: More than 10,000 Chinese Australians stage the biggest pro-Beijing rally of the relay in Canberra. Chinese six-deep line the 16-km (10-mile) route, while hundreds of cars drive around the city carrying Chinese flags.

April 26: Chinese students scuffle with pro-Tibet protesters and Japanese nationalists during the relay through Nagano. Four Chinese supporters are injured and five men arrested.

* April 27: Thousands of Chinese outnumber South Koreans along the flame’s route in Seoul. At one point, the two groups clash, with Chinese students kicking an elderly South Korean protester and hurling rocks at a group that raised banners chastising Beijing. More than 8,000 police guard the route.

Source: Reuters

Writing by Candida Ng, Singapore Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by David Fogarty