The Athens Polytechnic Uprising occurred in November 1973 as a massive student demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974, which had imposed a dictatorship in Greece on April 21, 1967, thus hastening its end.
The uprising began on November 14 with the occupation of The National (Metsovian) Technical University of Athens by the students which escalated into an anti-dictatorship protest, as thousands of citizens gathered there. The occupation ended in the early hours of November 17 when a tank invaded the university’s main entrance followed by the police and the army. The events caused the injury and the death of many and led others to imprisonment and torture.
November 17 has since been celebrated with a pilgrimage to the place of sacrifice and a march, every year in Athens. Events and marches take place all over Greece.
In the film, we are a year later from the uprising, on the first Anniversary of the Uprising, specifically November 24 since the anniversary was postponed due to elections. That day the demonstrations reached the peak and the march headed towards the EAT-ESA (former military police headquarters) and the American Embassy.
We are outside the Polytechnic campus in the morning, on Patision Street where people have begun to gather. We see the fallen railings of the gate full of bouquets of flowers, banners with slogans such as "Out with the bases of death", "Out of NATO", "The Americans out now", "The struggle of November continues" and more.
The filmmaker has entered the Polytechnic campus and records the thousands of wreaths, flowers, notes, as well as a sign with the verse of Giannis Ritsos poem "On this fallen door we gave again the oath, an oath of youth, life, freedom, an oath of dream and deed". We see people who are constantly gathering in Patission Street, groups with wreaths and banners who are constantly coming, lighted white candles in memory of those who fell. The relatives of the dead and citizens of all ages, deeply moved, let their tears run in front of the battered railings that were demolished by the tank a year ago.
We see drawings and poems that are held on the railings, a postal envelope that says “A Letter for our dead" among the flowers. A man writes a note and hangs it on a statue of the garden. Afterwards, we see general shots of the complex’s buildings, the central two-storey "Averoff" building and the two single-storey buildings of the Deanship and the Fine Arts that frame it. Shots of people waiting to see the exhibition of the Uprising. A banner writes "The people never forget, they organise and win". We watch a shot from Averoff's balcony to the gate, across the university the Acropolis Hotel and apartment buildings in Patission Street.
The inner courtyard of the campus is now full, young people carry in their hands the hero of the anti-dictatorship action, major Spyros Moustaklis, who was paralyzed by the torture in EAT-ESA. Spyros Moustaklis laid a wreath on the anniversaries of the Polytechnic, every year up to his death.
A big croud cries slogans and raise their hands to the victory sign.