The Blackley Jewish Cemetery in Manchester has become the recent site of racially charged vandalism, with many headstones knocked over and destroyed. Many that still stand have been stained with images of the Nazi swastika. Currently, two arrests have been made in the case. Two boys, only thirteen years of age, are the prime suspects in the destruction of the Jewish cemetery and are being held on basis of suspicion.
Many people have gathered to help clean up the gravestones. These volunteers are not just Jews, but also Christians, Muslims, and any others who find the destruction to be vicious and in need of rectification. Over one hundred volunteers decided to take a part in the restoration of the Jewish cemetery to its prior state. This is approximately eighty more people than were expected to come and help. The community is incredibly proud of this turnout, as it shows a great deal of kinship between faiths. They are doing everything in their power to restore the graveyard to its rightful order.
The high turnout meant that the volunteers did not have to work strenuously all day, but could rather trade shifts. This was, in fact, as necessity. There simply were not enough supplies for everyone to help at one time. The North Manchester Jewish Cemeteries trust organized the push to clean up the cemetery, and managed to clean up more than the damage done by the vandals. They also cleared up a great amount of trash which had littered the grounds, the Mail Online reports.
It will take some time to complete the job, as many of the headstones which have been damaged are incredibly old. Unfortunately, the graves of victims with surviving relatives will be the responsibility of said relatives to fix up. Other graves in the Jewish cemetery will be covered by the same charity that sponsored the volunteer cleaning crews. Some headstones might be damaged beyond the point of repair.
Many are upset by the attack on the Jewish cemetery, and some feel it is unjust that the two boys responsible are currently out on bail. Late in July, they were be subject to more questioning and will possibly be up for sentencing not long after. It is difficult to say what their punishment will be if convicted, as racially charged crimes often yield greater punishment. Either way, they will not likely get off scot-free for the destruction of the Jewish cemetery.