Obama supporters gather for "Yes We Span" in Spain
Democrats in Spain join worldwide campaign initiative and will meet Saturday on top of Calle Bailén bridge.22 May 2008
MADRID - "Barack Obama is a uniter." You can hear the phrase coming from the lips of the Democratic presidential hopeful's more outspoken supporters both domestically and abroad.
And it was this very concept that sparked the idea for the international initiative dubbed "Yes We Span," involving local rallies of overseas Obama supporters in the various world cities where they reside.
Over the past 14 months, "Yes We Span" has seen pro-Obama groups pose in over 35 cities for collective photos on landmark bridges, sights symbolic of the presidential hopeful's uncanny power to bring people together.
A spin-off from the music video Yes We Can that instantly popularised US Senator Barack Obama's campaign slogan, bridges over the past year have become the backdrop to Obama supporters from Paris to Jakarta, London to Istanbul, and Berlin to Barcelona.
The photos run on loop on Obama's website, and a montage is being set to music with the idea of it being shown at the Democratic National Convention in August.
The initiative was brainstormed by Meredith Wheeler last March at a Democrats Abroad meeting in Brussels. Wheeler, an American living in Strasbourg, France, and chair of her Democrats Abroad (DA) chapter, saw the initiative as a way for her to use her influence and connections with the organization's chapters worldwide to support her choice for candidate.
"Why not use the bridge as the symbol of his campaign and gather photos of supporters on famous or scenic bridges around the world - showing that the world wants Obama?" she says.
Last Saturday, 35 Obama supporters in Barcelona spanned across the Rambla de Mar Bridge. Event organiser and member of DA Barcelona, Adam Lang, said that the Obama issue is hitting particularly close to home.
"For me spanning across the world shows that Obama is the choice for us overseas Americans, who really have a front-row view of the disaster that is the current US foreign policy in our daily lives."
In Madrid, Obama supporters will meet this Saturday at 12 noon on top of Calle Bailén bridge.
Sean Carroll, an event organizer from DA Madrid explains: "The idea is that Obama is unifying. He is the candidate that bridges differences. And the international initiative shows that relations between us and other countries are broken and we need to build these bridges back up."
Describing the Illinois as "electric” and not hesitant about using what has been Obama's buzz word, "change," Carroll says that he has never been so excited about a candidate.
A veteran of Democratic campaigning, he has previously volunteered for candidates from Walter Mondale to John Kerry, but "it is Obama who really gets people excited," he says. "If he gets elected, it will be the right change."
Although Obama is one step closer to the nomination after Tuesday's primary win in Oregon, Hillary Clinton, unwavering in her allegiance to what Obama supporters criticize as the opposing message, has vowed to "fight on".
[El Pais / Kelly Ramundo / Expatica]
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