Unsubdued by coronavirus, the people's anger raged across five continents from protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement to those against anti-Muslim bigotry. We look back on 2020's biggest revolts and most significant demonstrations:
Images of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, until he died sparked protests from Amsterdam to Nairobi, exposing deeper grievances among demonstrators over strained race relations in their own countries.
Major demonstrations in solidarity with Floyd protesters erupted in multiple countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and elsewhere. Protests were also held in several African and Asian countries.
The dying words of Floyd, "I can't breathe", became a rallying cry in a global outpouring of rage, drawing crowds by the thousands to the streets despite health hazards from the coronavirus pandemic.
Protests over demonisation of Muslims
Tens of thousands of Muslims in Pakistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Bangladesh, Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq, India and elsewhere protested over French President Emmanuel Macron's vow to protect the right to draw caricatures insulting Prophet Muhammad.
The caricatures, republished by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to mark the trial for the deadly 2015 attack against the publication, outraged Muslims across the world who consider depictions of the prophet blasphemous.
The protests flared further when Macron described Islam as a religion "in crisis" globally.
Due to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic sweeping 2020, climate protests and environmental campaigns were mostly held online, along with a large number of demonstrations protesting political and economic policies across the world.
Climate protests and strikes were held both in streets and on social media around the world in 2020 by stressing the threats to liveable planet and ecosystems, demanding from world leaders to address and take urgent actions on climate change and to keep their promises on global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Fridays for Future movement took a lead in such demonstrations during 2020 while the 350.org and Sunrise movements, Greenpeace, and the Extinction Rebellion group were also involved in many actions over climate-related activities.
Covid-19 medics protest
Nurses in several countries demonstrated this year against their working conditions, low salaries, and complaining that they do not have adequate protective gear such as gloves and masks. to safely treat Covid-19 patients.
Doctors and medical staff were revered as heroes by the public during 2020. But they sought more than recognition and held protests to demand pay rises and better facilities to deal with Covid-19.
In many instances, medical staff took to the streets to demand more personal protective equipment as they tackled the contagious virus without sufficient masks and other gear.
China imposed a sweeping national security law in Hong Kong on June 30 but the protests against Beijing's involvement were rekindled in 2019 with the city's plans to introduce a law allowing the extradition of Hong Kong residents and visitors to China.
The bill was aborted later but not before it sparked a mass movement in March 2019 over concerns that mainland China was eroding freedoms promised to the semi-autonomous state by its British colonial rulers in 1997.
What followed was Beijing's crackdown on dissidents, resulting in the now infamous national security law of Hong Kong which sparked protests and subsequent detentions in 2020.
Hundreds have been arrested at the rallies against the security law this year.
The arrests of leading opposition figures and the expulsion of local lawmakers – prompting the entire opposition camp to resign – led numerous countries to curtail legal cooperation with Hong Kong. The US imposed travel bans and financial sanctions.
Violent protests against India's citizenship law that excludes Muslim immigrants swept the country in late 2019 and spilt over into 2020 despite the government’s ban on public assembly and suspension of internet services in many parts of India.
The backlash against the law marked the strongest show of dissent against the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he was first elected in 2014.
Critics say the legislation violates India's secular constitution. The law is seen as the latest in a string of efforts by the Modi government to marginalise the country's 200 million Muslims.
Farm law protests
Tens of thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting the passage of three laws by PM Narendra Modi's government on agricultural market reform and contract farming.
Indian farmers say the laws could cause the government to stop buying grain at guaranteed prices and result in exploitation by the private sector that would push to buy crops at cheaper rates.
Massive protests led mostly by students are pushing for the resignation of PM Prayut Chan-ocha, pro-democracy changes in the country's constitution and reduction of the monarchy's influence in politics.
Peace plan protests
Protests have been sparked by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's ceasefire deal with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Protesters are demanding Pashinyan's resignation over the deal that saw Armenia cede three districts to Baku in addition to four others that Azerbaijani soldiers won back during the 44-day fighting that began in late September.
Violent clashes erupted after parliamentary elections on October 4, which opponents claimed were rigged by vote-buying schemes.
The protests forced Sooronbay Jeenbekov to resign as president.
The post (interim) was handed to the country's PM Sadyr Zhaparov, a former lawmaker whom demonstrators freed from jail. Zhaparov was serving 11-and-a-half years in prison for kidnapping a governor.
READ MORE: Why are people in Kyrgyzstan protesting?
Racial equality protests
Thousands protested in main cities in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The marches were organised in support of protests in the US following the death of Floyd.
Discussions were also held over racial bias and inequity, colonialism, Maori imprisonment rates, systemic racism, push to remove statues of colonisers, and issues of Maori land protection.
Thousands of Australians marched through every provincial capital across the country to protest what they say was a lack of government action on the climate crisis and the deadly bushfire crisis.
Racial equality protests
Tens of thousands of Australians protested in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
They also highlighted indigenous deaths in custody and the mistreatment and marginalisation of the country's Aboriginal people.
Protests against Israeli annexation plan
Thousands of Palestinians held marches to protest against Israel's unilateral plan to annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley.
Palestinian officials said that under the plan, Israel will annex 30 to 40 percent of occupied West Bank, including all of East Jerusalem and Jordan Valley.
Protests against Arab-Israel normalisation of ties
Palestinians in besieged Gaza and occupied West Bank burnt pictures of Israeli, US, Bahraini, and United Arab Emirates leaders in a 'day of uprising' against the two Gulf countries' decision to normalise ties with Israel.
Both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Hamas movement, which governs Gaza, have condemned the US-brokered so-called Abraham Accords as a "stab in the back" to their people.
Anti-Netanyahu, coronavirus protests
March 2020 onward
Thousands of Israelis have been holding rallies since March against PM Benjamin Netanyahu who has been charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in a corruption scandal.
Israelis have also protested an increase of his authority during the coronavirus outbreak.
Many Israelis believe Netanyahu used a new law to impose coronavirus lockdown to prevent them from widening anti-corruption protests, not the spread of the disease.
Yet thousands of Israelis kept protesting across the country, flouting the law meant to curb anti-government demonstrations during a coronavirus lockdown.
Lebanese protests were first sparked in 2019 when the government introduced taxes on tobacco, petrol, and WhatsApp voice calls.
The anger quickly expanding into a country-wide condemnation of stagnant economy, unemployment, and endemic corruption.
In August 2020, protests were revived by the deadly explosion at the Port of Beirut.
October 2019 onward
Iraqis have continued to protests in anti-government demonstrations since October last year.
Last year, tens of thousands of Iraqis, mostly young people, marched in many cities to decry government graft, unemployment, and poor services.
The popular movement in Iraq succeeded in overthrowing the previous government headed by Adil Abdul Mahdi and has been putting pressure on the current Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi to fulfil his pledges on improving services and fighting corruption. Despite crackdowns by the militias and government, protesters say their movement is still alive.
READ MORE: Why do protests in Iraq refuse to go away?
Sudanese have protested throughout the year for the transition from military control to civilian government. The demonstrations are also driven by dire living conditions faced by the Sudanese.
The country is currently ruled by a joint civilian-military government, following the popular uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Omar al Bashir last year.
Demonstrations began on October 8, targeting a hated police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), after a video circulated online showed police from the Sars unit brutally beating up a man.
Tensions grew when at least 10 peaceful protesters were killed in Lagos city. Nigerians abroad also took part, organising their own protests in London, New York, and Paris. The expats also helped the cause get support from Rihanna, Kanye West, and other celebrities.
President Muhammadu Buhari's government agreed to disband the Sars unit but the protests continued with participants demanding sweeping reforms of police and action against corruption.
Police security bill protests
France has seen weekly nationwide protests over a controversial police bill. The demonstrations picked up pace after footage emerged of three white policemen beating a Black music producer, whom they allegedly also abused racially.
The bill criminalises the publication of images of on-duty police officers. Rights groups and journalists say this would make it difficult to document police brutality.
Coronavirus lockdown protests
Germany's Querdenker movement, or "lateral thinking", have been protesting against coronavirus lockdowns and other restrictive measures since the summer.
Their protests have also provoked counter-demonstrations.
Organisers have gathered thousands of people in cities all across Germany, at times clashing with police while authorities have placed the Querdenker members under surveillance.
Belarus has been rocked by massive strikes and weekly street protests since authorities announced President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994, won re-election on August 9 with 80 percent of votes.
Opponents accuse Lukashenko of rigging the presidential election to extend his 26-year rule – a charge he denies.
The protest movement has kept up a series of large-scale demonstrations for the past several months, with tens of thousands of protesters often taking to the streets in anti-government protests.
Hundreds have been arrested and then released during protests. There's no clarity on how many people are still in jail.
Opposition leaders have been jailed and driven out of the country.
Among those to have fled is Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opposition candidate, who left for Lithuania, and continues guiding opposition protests from there.
Abortion rights protests
Tens of thousands of people have participated in recent protests against a near-total ban on abortions in Poland.
The protests were triggered by an October 22 ruling by Poland's constitutional court that abortion in cases of severe fetal deformities was unconstitutional.
The ruling further restricts what was already one of Europe's more restrictive abortion laws.
July 2020 onward
In Khabarovsk, Russia's far east, locals have been protesting for months to voice opposition to the arrest of the regional governor Sergei Furgal on murder charges.
Protest attendance has dwindled since thousands rallied over the summer against Furgal's arrest in July on decades-old murder-related charges.
Furgal has denied the accusations, which his supporters say were engineered by his opponents with help from the Kremlin.
Furgal became Khabarovsk's governor in 2018 when he defeated a candidate from President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party.
The Financial Times reported that "voters who flocked to Mr Furgal say they did so not for his or his party’s distinct policies, but as a protest vote against the United Russia incumbent".
Putin had personally backed the incumbent, Vyacheslav Shport, so Furgal's refusal to quit the race was seen as unforgivable, according to The Moscow Times.
Law against demonstrations
Thousands protested Kyriakos Mitsotakis government's enactment of a stringent law on demonstrations across Greece.
The legislation limits demonstrations or bans them if protests are deemed to threaten public safety.
The new rules aim to replace a 1971 junta decree restricting rallies. Unionists and opposition parties accuse the government of acting preemptively to quash any opposition to possible fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Police brutality protests
US was rocked by weeks of protests and rallies after Floyd's death by police was captured by an onlooker's video.
As a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, an unarmed and handcuffed Floyd, 46, lay face down on a Minneapolis street, gasping for air and groaning for help, before falling silent.
Local protests began in Minnesota before quickly spreading nationwide and to over 60 countries in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The protests, dubbed the 'Chilean spring', began in 2019 in response to a rise in the Santiago Metro's subway fare and split over into 2020 as well. The 2019 riots left 30 dead and thousands injured.
The protests widened over severe inequality, low salaries and pensions, increase in the cost of living, privatisation and constitutional amendments.
A demonstration to mark the one-year anniversary of last year's mass protests devolved into riots and looting.
Peru plunged into turmoil in early November when Congress voted to oust President Martin Vizcarra.
Millions of Peruvians filled the streets, decrying the move as a parliamentary coup and some clashed with the police.
Francisco Sagasti, a lawmaker and an engineer by training, was chosen by Congress in mid-November as the new president of Peru, its third in just over a week of protests.
The reaction by police to the protests in the capital has ignited a debate about police brutality.
At least 20 demonstrators were shot with lead pellets or glass marbles during the Lima protests, according to medical records, interviews and information compiled by the local Human Rights Coordinator and verified by Human Rights Watch.
At least half a dozen of those injured in protests were hospitalised for over three weeks. A third person died in protests in northern Peru earlier in December.
READ MORE: Peru's Merino quits as interim president
READ MORE: 2019 - a year of lengthy protests