By Greta Cobar

Ibrahim and Diane, two of the most enduring performance artists on the boardwalk, who have been here longer than most of us have been around, are going to leave a void on OFW and Dudley while they embark on a vacation to Maryland that could last as long as a year.

“I first set foot in Venice in 1967. People did not welcome me, for I was in uniform, having been drafted for the Vietnam War,” said Ibrahim. With time he shifted from Agent Orange to the police agents of scorn on OFW. As one of the very few artists that had the courage to never take part in the Lottery, Ibrahim continues to exemplify the true spirit of Venice from back in the day, when freedom of speech was a right, not a lottery prize.

“A retired police officer told me that if I interfere with the Lottery system they will have me killed,” Ibrahim said. He continued to stand up for what he believed, speaking out against the wars overseas and the domestic wars between the haves and the have nots. Most of us might share his views, but how many of us have the courage and the power to stand up for these ideals day in and day out, enduring the police suppression and brutality that come as a result?

“I was tortured and poisoned by my own government,” Ibrahim said. His spirit was not crushed, however. “We have rights, and you can’t take away these rights because of your privileges,” he declared, referring to the recent RV harassment incidents on Rose and 3rd..  “It is staged, people purposely placing feces on the street to have proof for the Coastal Commission to impose parking restrictions in Venice.”

Ibrahim recently followed the principles of Dr. Schulze and ate the special meals that Diane cooked in order to go through a liver, kidney and heart cleanse. According to him, going to see a medical doctor for an ailment would be the equal of surrendering to the enemy. “The VA would have killed me,” he said.

A part of Venice will be missing while Ibrahim and Diane go on their journey. All of us wish them good luck, blessings, and a happy return. Please continue to inspire us towards righteousness.

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