OCCUPY PHILLY voted last night to appeal a permit application offered by the city, marking the latest twist in the group's month-old saga.

More are sure to come.

The permit application, which the city Managing Director's Office offered on Monday, would bar protesters from camping overnight, and allow them to assemble at Thomas Paine Plaza only between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Members of the Occupy Philly legal collective said the restrictions - there are 15 in all - would change the nature of the movement from an occupation to a demonstration, which would make a marked difference in the power behind the group's message.

"An occupation is something that raises awareness; it's a constant flow of energy," Julia Alford-Fowler, of the group's legal collective, said after the group's meeting last night.

She noted that if Occupy Philly loses its appeal, it could send 75 protesters to the plaza 24 hours a day.

Groups of 75 or less do not need a permit to assemble in a public space, she said.

However, the move would leave the homeless population that has joined the occupiers on Dilworth Plaza without a place to stay.

"These people have become our friends. They're part of our community, they're part of our family," Alford-Fowler said, stifling tears in the lobby of the Friends Center, as protesters left the assembly meeting.

Everett Gillison, Mayor Nutter's chief of staff, said on Monday that members of the movement have until 5 p.m. today to declare whether they'll accept the terms of the new permit, which would last until Dec. 20.

It's unclear if the city will be willing to negotiate with the protesters beyond that deadline.

King Downing, of the Occupy Philly legal collective, said the group had yet to discuss when it would present its appeal to the Managing Director's Office.

Gillison said the city would give members of the movement - and the homeless - who have been living in tents on Dilworth Plaza a two-day warning before evicting them.

He was quick to add that a possible eviction wouldn't happen before Thanksgiving, or before work begins on Dilworth's planned $50 million makeover.

The city has yet to set a start date for the project, other than describing it as "imminent" on notices that were handed out to protesters last week, after the Daniel J. Keating Co. was awarded the construction contract.

Some members of the movement voted Thursday to move their tents and belongings to Paine Plaza, outside of the Municipal Services Building.

They were stopped by police because they didn't have a permit.