Worldwide well-wishers post pleas for Obama
AFP - Friday, November 7
WASHINGTON (AFP) - - Well-wishers from around the world posted messages of support for US President-elect Barack Obama on a public display in Washington on Thursday, urging him to fulfill his campaign pledges on tough issues such as the Iraq war.
By Thursday night, more than 163,000 people from 189 countries had contributed comments via the Internet to the global campaign group Avaaz, according to the movement, which put up boards bearing photographs, email messages and a colorful mass of handwriting from passers-by.
"Yo B! Bring troops home now," read one anonymous message in bright red capitals.
"Please make the change for better," read another.
Avaaz posted a manifesto on one of the boards congratulating Obama and calling on him to sign a global treaty on climate change, pull US forces from Iraq, close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and boost aid to the poor.
The display stood at the foot of Washington's Lincoln Memorial, a symbolic spot dedicated to the civil war president Abraham Lincoln who fought to end slavery, and the site of civil rights hero Martin Luther King's legendary "I have a dream" speech.
"We knew there would be an outpouring of emotion and views" if Obama won, said Brett Solomon, the campaign director of Avaaz who organized the display in the historic heart of the city, where voters overwhelmingly backed Obama in Tuesday's election.
"We also wanted there to be a physical representation so that Senator Obama might come and see it," he told AFP.
The leader-in-waiting was out of sight on Thursday however, two days after his historic election victory, at the FBI building in Chicago for his first post-election national security briefing.
"I have been doing research on you," read one message to Obama in childish handwriting, signed Brooke Robinson. "I think you will make a great president. You have a pretty wife and daughters."
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Congratulatory messages to President-elect Barack Obama are seen on a 24-foot long message board in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The organization Avaaz.org has set up a global message board at the memorial with display of messages from all around the world for people to write their notes to Obama.
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