RIO DE JANEIRO — “No amnesty! No amnesty! No amnesty!”

The chant reverberated off the walls of the jam-packed hall at the University of Sao Paulo’s law college on Monday afternoon. Within hours, it was the rallying cry for thousands of Brazilians who streamed into the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, penned on protest posters and banners.

The words are a demand for retribution against the supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro who stormed Brazil’s capital Sunday, and those who enabled the rampage.

“These people need to be punished, the people who ordered it need to be punished, those who gave money for it need to be punished,” Bety Amin, a 61-year-old therapist, said on Sao Paulo’s main boulevard. The word “DEMOCRACY” stretched across the back of her shirt. “They don’t represent Brazil. We represent Brazil.”

Protesters’ push for accountability evokes memories of an amnesty law that for decades has protected military members accused of abuse and murder during the country’s 1964-85 dictatorship. A 2014 truth commission report sparked debate over how Brazil has grappled with the regime’s legacy.

Declining to mete out punishment “can avoid tensions at the moment, but perpetuates instability,” Luis Felipe Miguel, a professor of political science at the University of Brasilia, wrote in a column entitled “No Amnesty” published Monday evening. “That is the lesson we should have learned from the end of the military dictatorship, when Brazil opted not to punish the regime’s killers and torturers.”

The same day, Brazilian police rounded up roughly 1,500 rioters. Some were caught in the act of trashing Brazil’s Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential palace. Most were detained the following morning at an encampment in Brasilia. Many were held in a gymnasium throughout the day, and video shared on pro-Bolsonaro social media channels showed some complaining about poor treatment in the crowded space.

Almost 600 who were elderly, sick, homeless or mothers with their children were released Tuesday after being questioned and having their phones inspected, the Federal Police said in a statement. Its press office previously told The Associated Press that the force plans to indict at least 1,000 people. As of Tuesday afternoon, 527 people had been transfered to either a detention center or prison.

The administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva says jailing the rioters is only the start.

Justice minister Flávio Dino vowed to prosecute those who acted behind the scenes to summon supporters on social media and finance their transport on charges involving organized crime, staging a coup, and violent abolition of the democratic rule of law. Authorities also are investigating allegations that local security personnel allowed the destruction to proceed unabated.

“We cannot and will not compromise in fulfilling our legal duties,” Dino said. “This fulfillment is essential so such events do not repeat themselves.”

Lula signed a decree, now approved by both houses of Congress, ordering the federal government to assume control of security in the capital.

Far-right elements have refused to accept Bolsonaro’s electoral defeat. Since his Oct. 30 loss, they have camped outside military barracks in Brasilia, pleading for intervention to allow Bolsonaro to remain in power and oust Lula. When no coup materialized, they rose up themselves. / AP