When global online activist group Avaaz launched a worldwide signature-collection campaign against Donald Trump's "hate-mongering and bigotry" on Wednesday morning, its members had no idea what to expect.
Forty-eight hours and 1.6 million signatures later, the group has watched in wonder at how fast the "open letter to Donald Trump" has gone viral across the the globe—shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook, Twitter and email.
"People are getting crazy about this," Avaaz senior campaigner Oscar Soria told Fusion in a phone interview from New York. "We didn't know what to expect, but we've already extended the goal to 2 million signatures."
Soria says the letter, which rejects Trump's "denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you," has been signed by people in 79 countries so far, including every country in Latin America.
"Mexico is one of the top signatory countries, with 75,000 signatures so far," he said.
While people around the world always watch every U.S. presidential election carefully, the early success of Avaaz's signature-collection campaign against Trump seems to suggest that there is a particular level of concern about this year's poll—and whether the Americans can be trusted to get it right.
"The whole world has had to listen to Donald Trump's megaphone of divisive, offensive rhetoric for months now, and a lot of people are just sick of it. This letter is the world blaring back one response: 'Donald, we're all united against your division'," said Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel in a statement.
Avaaz, which means "voice," is a New York-based global activist network formed in 2007. The group promotes a one-world view of unity and community around issues of climate, human rights, peace and economic justice.
The group says it will print its letter and the results of its global signature-collection campaign as a paid ad in U.S. newspapers later this month.
Click here to read the full letter and see people around the globe sign in real time.