An anti-nuclear weapons activist appeared in a Kitsap County Courtroom to apply the Nuremberg Principles in defense of his recent protest at a US Navy “Trident” ballistic missile submarine base.
In court, Siptroth cited and explained the Nuremberg Principles, stating that they have had an important impact on him both because he is Jewish and was, as a youngster, profoundly affected by the film “Judgment at Nuremberg.” He stated that the principles oblige citizens to disobey government orders preparing for, or engaging in, wars of aggression or in violation of international treaties, causing wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, and that complicity in such crimes against humanity is a crime under international law. Thus we are compelled to act to prevent such crimes from taking place.
Judge Paja listened carefully, acknowledged Siptroth’s deeply held beliefs, and said in effect that the only issues before the court were those of public safety, and since he had admitted the violation of the traffic charge, she found him guilty, but would reduce his fine to $20.
Siptroth then informed the court “I respectfully decline that because I didn’t come for that purpose, but with the hope that the judiciary would finally uphold the higher international laws which prohibit the planning for, production of, and use of nuclear weapons which would cause great loss of life and destruction of property, not just the small violation of being in the roadway.” The judge said she had made the Principles a part of the record in this case.