SAO PAULO – Brazil is bracing for a day of widespread protests, many against the upcoming World Cup.
Demonstrations Thursday are expected in nearly 50 cities with the largest expected in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Many are anti-government rallies against the billions spent to host next month's World Cup.
Protesters complain that the money should have been spent to help fix Brazil's ailing health, security, education and infrastructure systems.
Other protesters include homeless activists fighting for free or low-cost government housing, and two large unions.
The protests loom as a test for the government's preparedness to contain demonstrations during the World Cup.
Last year, massive demonstrations during a warm-up tournament to the Cup overshadowed the sporting event. More than a million protesters took to the streets on a single night.