Nightly News | November 20, 2011
>>> the occupy movement, whose message over uneven wealth that this country, has at times been loosely focused is increasingly bee defined by graphic images of clashes with police. the latest comes in a viral video that has taken off across the internet this week geend and is putting officials at a california campus on the defensive. anne thompson reports.
>> reporter: this is the latest evidence police patience with the occupy movement is wearing thin. videos posted on youtube show uc davis campus police firing pepper spray at apparently peaceful protesters friday.
>> shame on you!
>> reporter: the police chief said this was a volatile situation, and the police were cut off from their support. the video shows this officer using the spray to clear a path. these scenes ignited an angry reaction on the web.
>> shame on you. shame on you.
>> reporter: some are calling for chancellor linda katehi's resignation. she's resisting, and today placed two officers seen using pepper spray on administrative leave. as the task force investigates whether the action was justified on a video that the chancellor describes as chilling.
>> i do extend the unfortunate and really bad situation that was created for our students.
>> reporter: across the nation, the police crackdown is causing striking images. a young man bloodied at new york's park. an 84-year-old woman pepper sprayed in seattle. and now with students at uc davis . while protesters may be losing physical space , one analyst says they are gaining impact.
>> they really opened up a space to have the conversations which we weren't having three months ago about income inequality, about what adjusting to a moral system is like.
>> reporter: there is also great criticism, some expressed at last night's republican presidential candidate forum in iowa.
>> go get a job right after you take a bath.
>> reporter: observers say the challenge for the movement now is to see if it can go from occupying parks to occupying the nation's political debate in an election year. or will it be undone in a debate over tactics by both police and protesters? anne thompson ,