Unrest points are earned during the first stage of Port contention. Each level reached unlocks a port condition. The three nations that do not hold the port can build Unrest points, although everything is separately earned: If the French and Spanish earn 3,000 points each, no port conditions are unlocked.
At 3,000 Unrest points, the small circle becomes active, and is designated a Pirate PVP zone. This means that any Pirate player can attack any Nation player within the circle, regardless of that players usual PVP condition. This circle drops if the defenders reduce the unrest to 2,500 points.
At 6,000 Unrest points, the larger circle becomes active, and is designated a Pirate PVP zone. The smaller circle is designated a Nation PVP zone. Every player within the circle is PVP flagged, and can be attacked by any other Nation. Note that this doesn't just cover the defending nation, but all nations. So a French port being attacked by the Spanish can have all factions attacking it's players. Or, the British could come to the aid of the French, killing the Spanish attackers. Diplomacy may play a large part in Port contention. This circle is reduced to a small pirate PVP zone when the defenders reduce the unrest to 5,500 points.
At 10,000 Unrest points, the attacking Nation has won the first stage of port contention. The Unrest points are removed, and the port begins earning Conquest points.
During this stage of port contention, any player participating will earn Personal Contention Points.