In this May 11, 2018, photo, Chelsea Manning, left, cheers with Dylan Petrohilos, right, of Washington, as they attend a rally in support of the J20 defendants in Washington. Petrohilos was one of the people detained in Inauguration day protests and the defendants face multiple felonies. When Washington police arrested more than 200 anti-Trump protesters on inauguration day 2017, it touched off a long-term battle of wits and wills. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

PV International Desk : A series of trials over a violent Inauguration Day protest has turned into a long-term battle of wits between the Justice Department and a grassroots political opposition network that calls itself “the resistance.”

The stand-off entered a new phase last week when a fresh trial started for four of the more than 160 people initially charged with property destruction and conspiracy to engage in a riot.

This nationwide activist network, calling itself the Defend J20 Resistance movement, has offered defendants free lodging and legal coordination. The movement claimed an early victory late last year when a jury acquitted the first six defendants.

The government has since dropped charges against most defendants and is focused on a remaining group of 58 — claiming it has stronger evidence this time.