On MLK Day 2019, Lead to Life hosted the sunset ceremony to close out the annual People’s March to Reclaim King’s Radical Legacy organized by Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP). In front of Oakland City Hall, in honor of the 10th anniversary of Oscar Grant’s murder by BART officer Johannes Mehrsele, our lead metal casting artist James Brenner and local Oakland metal artists held a live-gun melting ceremony and transformed the weapons into metal stars - the constellations that were in the sky above Oscar Grant when he was murdered on January 1st, 2009. We will plant those stars as plaques with trees across the East Bay (occupied Ohlone territory) next year (2020) with our shovels made from guns at sites impacted by legacies of violence and environmental desecration.

Local artists, dancers and ceremonialists were there to hold space with us - including African diasporic folkloric dancers representing Oya Nike and black youth circus, Prescott Circus. The mothers of Sahleem Tindle, Christopher Lavell Jones, and Dujaun Armstrong who were killed by gun violence and police brutality in Oakland shared their stories, prophecies, prayers and hearts and processed weapons to the furnace to be reimagined. The Robby Poblete Foundation and United Playaz brought representatives to share how they are interrupting gun violence across California and supported us as sponsors. Cat Brooks, founder of APTP and 2018 Oakland mayoral candidate ushered us into prophetic liberation with 500+ Oakland community members to cast our prayers for a world beyond violence into the stars.