“The city is already starting to bounce back; you can’t keep Manchester down for too long. There’s a real sense of togetherness and unity. It’s beautiful.”

Just one of the quotes recorded by a BuzzFeed reporter during a chat with I Love MCR founder Chris Greenhalgh…

As Chris walked toward his office in central Manchester on Friday morning, an extraordinary thing happened. Wearing a T-shirt which said “I heart MCR” on it, the 32-year-old found that he couldn’t go more than a few streets without being stopped.

“It’s a half-hour walk, and I must have hugged about four strangers on the way. People would stop with a smile and a tear,” he said.

Greenhalgh is the man behind the logo which has become one of the emblems of the city’s refusal to bow to hatred in the wake of Monday night’s terror attack. As Manchester mourns the 22 people killed, a spirit of dogged unity, kindness, and civic pride has come to define its response.

A graphic designer, Greenhalgh made the logo in the aftermath of the riots in 2011, “to harness the energy of people who love Manchester and create something positive” from it. Now as the city rebuilds from the country’s worst terror attack in a decade, the slogan is once again fitting for its determination not to be defined by hate. Since Tuesday morning Greenhalgh’s company has distributed more than 10,000 items of “I heart MCR” merchandise to raise money for the victims fund.

“The city is already starting to bounce back; you can’t keep Manchester down for too long,” Greenhalgh told BuzzFeed News. “There’s a real sense of togetherness and unity. It’s beautiful.

“People should be proud of the way we’ve reacted. The lord mayor called it Manchester’s darkest day, and while we’ll never forget what happened and we’ll never forget the victims, we also saw some of Manchester’s brightest and best qualities come out of it.”

Other moments have come to define the city’s response. In the hushed seconds after the minute of silence in St Ann’s Square on Thursday, one woman clutching a bunch of bright yellow flowers started to sing “Don’t Look Back In Anger”. As her voice grew louder, the crowd picked up the song and soon hundreds could be heard joining in.

BuzzFeed UK continue to report how ‘the desire to reject hate went beyond music choices…’

Read the full BuzzFeed article here

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