TORONTO (AP) — A large crowd gathered outside a mall north of Toronto to cheer a group of local truckers preparing to join a convoy to Ottawa protesting the Canadian government’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for cross-border drivers.

Some in the crowd threw cash and food up to drivers inside their truck cabs Thursday while others waved Canadian flags and signs protesting the government.

The convoy of truckers set to descend on Canada’s capital has prompted police to prepare for the possibility of violence and politicians to warn against escalating rhetoric linked to the demonstration.

The truckers are protesting a new requirement that truckers entering Canada be fully immunized as of Jan. 15.

The United States imposed the same requirement on truckers entering that country beginning Jan. 22.