Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"A Promise to My Dad" Will Tell My Dad's Story, as Well as Confront Suicide

My Dad Mario Vara, me, and Judge Provenzano,
on the day my Dad became a U.S. Citizen.
I remember how happy my Dad was.

By Davy V.

In 1968 my Dad, Mom, and my brother left Cuba in search of a better life, and something many Americans take for granted, freedom.

Shortly after moving to Rochester, NY, my Dad, Mario Vara became involved as a community activist, in the fight against police misconduct.

It hurt my Dad to see that after leaving his homeland behind, and his family, in search of a better life, what he saw was that law enforcement here engages in disturbing acts and atrocities including abusing and some in some instances even killing unarmed innocent people.

As a result of my Dad's work, the Rochester, NY Police department made my Dad's life miserable.

They would harass and intimidate my Dad daily.

He couldn't even go out of his own home without certain members of the Rochester Police department going out of their way to stop my him and harass him.

Slowly my Dad stopped doing what he loved to do.

He stopped going to meetings, rallies and marches.

My Dad went from a vibrant, passionate man to just staying home.

Unfortunately, my Dad fell into a very bad deep depression and committed suicide in 1993, while me and my mom were downstairs.

What the Rochester Police department did to my Dad, is a very common police practice.

A psychological tactic aimed at breaking someone down emotionally.

It is far worse than any physical abuse or beating.

In many ways it's like bullying.

My passion is something I got from my Dad.

As a young kid I would tag along with my Dad to different meetings, rallies, and marches.

My Dad was my hero.

He helped so many people and was a voice for so many who didn't have one.

At my father's wake, I made a promise to him, as he lay in his casket.

I promised my Dad that I would continue his work.

Twenty years later, here I am, keeping that promise and honoring my Dad's work and his legacy.

One of the many disturbing comments posted by Justin Bainter,
where he uses photos of my family, in this case a photo of my Dad.
As a result of my continuing my Dad's work, I have received death threats, and the most disturbing, messages, phone calls, and comments from people who obviously don't want me to do what I do.

Just last Summer a very disturbed individual named Justin Bainter showed up to my children's elementary school, and stalked me and my children as I walked them out to my car.

This same individual then took photos of my Dad and my children and posted them on the Internet with disturbing comments.

I have over 150 screen shots documenting his disturbing, stalking behavior which will not stop.

But I continue with my work, as things like that, and individuals like him just serve to show me that my work is having an effect.

For years I have wanted to tell my Dad's story, and my continuation of his work, on film.

"A Promise to My Dad" will do just that.

The film will also confront suicide, something which has forever changed my life, and something which has changed the lives of millions.

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