Manchester riots: how the city fought back with love

A minority of thugs chose the dark side, but thousands of real Mancunians chose love

On August 9 2011, following three days of disturbances in London, copycat riots broke out in Manchester and Salford.

The England riots caused millions of pounds worth of damage. But out of the wreckage came a remarkable display of civic pride and community spirit.

A small minority of thugs, criminals and opportunists had taken to the streets to riot and loot. A much larger number of decent folk came together to show their pride in their city.

The morning after, inspired by an “I Love Manchester” campaign on social media, hundreds of volunteers turned up in Manchester city centre to help clean up the mess left behind by the rioters.

Thousands of people expressed their love for our city on sticky notes which covered a “love wall” in the Arndale.

And the I Love MCR logo began to appear on posters, on shop fronts, buses, lamp-posts and hoardings. It was even projected on to buildings.

I Love MCR billboard

The campaign attracted thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter, with thousands of users changing their profile pictures to the I Love MCR logo.

Manchester Airport posted the logo above check-in desks and on screens inside the terminals. United and City players were pictured wearing I Love MCR T-shirts and Manchester Pride handed out I Love MCR flags during the parade.

The I Love MCR logo united Manchester against the rioters and became a symbol of the city’s resilience.

Years later it lives on as a vehicle for bringing together Mancunians, and anyone who loves Manchester, to celebrate the city and the things that make it such an extraordinary place to live and work.

#ILoveMCR #WeLoveMCR

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Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience.

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